The killer bug that has already claimed the lives of four premature babies has been discovered at a second maternity hospital in Northern Ireland.

Traces of the pseudomonas bacteria that killed three babies at the Royal Jubilee hospital and another young child in Derry have now been confirmed at the Ulster Hospital just outside Belfast.

The deadly bug was discovered on water taps in the neo-natal units at both hospitals.

Health officials have revealed that pseudomonas has been detected in water outlets in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Ulster Hospital outside Belfast.



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In a statement, Health Authority chiefs said: “All babies in the unit have been tested and the results indicate that no baby has tested positive for pseudomonas.

“Babies will continue to be screened on an ongoing basis. Parents of babies in the unit have been informed of the position.”

No new cases of pseudomonas have been reported at either hospital but staff at both units have been told to avoid using tap water with babies while tests on water outlets and necessary refits are carried out.

The Health Service update added: “According to the latest figures, there are no new cases of pseudomonas infection at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital’s (RJMH) neonatal unit, so the overall total who have been infected in this outbreak remains at seven.

“It is not causing active infection in these babies. All necessary precautions are being taken to avoid the spread of infection.”