Monday, March 29, 1999 Published at 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Malaria outbreak at UK hospital
Malaria is spread by mosquitoes
Two patients have contracted malaria while being treated at a hospital in Nottingham.
It is only the second time there has been an outbreak of the tropical disease in a British hospital.
The patients picked up the disease while they were being treated on an infectious disease ward at Nottingham City Hospital.
Other patients had been admitted to the Nightingale Two ward suffering from malaria.
One of the patients is a 90-year-old woman, the other is a man.
The ward at the City Hospital was closed down and fumigated after the patients were diagnosed.
Hospital authorities have also launched an investigation into the outbreak.
Experts in tropical medicine have been called in to help with the inquiry.
Other patients and staff who were on the ward at the time were screened for malaria and the tests proved negative.
Staff and patients who had been on the ward previously are having blood samples taken as a precaution.
Dr Anthony Morgan, medical director, said: "It is extremely rare for the disease to be passed on to other patients in a hospital.
"As far as we know it has only happened once before in this country."
He added: "Prompt action taken by the hospital to close the affected ward and call in experts should prevent any further spread of the disease."
Both patients involved in the latest scare are said to be responding well to treatment.
Malaria is the world's second biggest killer disease.
It is spread by mosquitoes and symptoms include a cycle of high fever and chills.
Most cases can be successfully treated.