Maternity hospital staff in Belfast are still searching for the source of the deadly bacteria that has claimed the lives of three babies so far as anxious parents await results of tests on more children.

A ‘deep clean’ of the neo-natal unit at the city’s Royal Maternity Hospital will be completed on Sunday after seven babies were infected with pseudomonas.

Three of the seven babies in the high dependency unit died and two recovered fully. A third baby is still being treated while a fourth died of unrelated causes.

Parents of another 24 babies at the hospital are currently awaiting results from tests on their children after they were swabbed for the infection on Friday.



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The outbreak of pseudomonas is currently confined to the neo-natal room at the Royal where premature babies, vulnerable to infection, are treated.

The unit has been closed since the deaths and all babies have now been moved to other wards in the hospital. Two pregnant women were moved to hospitals in the Republic as a precaution.

Pseudomonas is a rare bacteria which is not infectious and is usually harmless. It is normally found in plants or soil and can be carried on the skin.

A full investigation into the Belfast deaths is ongoing.