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08/02/2008

Three More Die In Superbug Outbreak

Sinn Fein have called a public enquiry into the outbreak of the superbug Clostridium Difficile, otherwise known as C-Diff, following the confirmation of three more deaths in the Northern Health Trust area.

This is the first time that the strain has been detected in Northern Ireland and Antrim Area Hospital has been dealing with the main fallout from an outbreak of a particularly virulent form of C-Diff, known to cause severe diarrhoea, which is particularly dangerous to the elderly and frail.

C-Diff is a form of bacteria which can cause tetanus, botulism and gas gangerene and can be found in the intestines of both ill and healthy people alike.

The contagious superbug is usually transmitted from one patient to another either by direct contact, via healthcare staff or by contamination of the environment itself.

The bacteria can be killed by soap and water so hospital staff, patients and visitors are advised to wash their hands with soap and water and use alcohol gel on wards.

Officials have said they are taking every effort to combat the outbreak which caused 23 deaths so far.

(GC)

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