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Wednesday, 1 March, 2000, 16:48 GMT
Salmonella outbreak hits hospital
Hospital kitchen
Salmonella usually starts with contaminated food or milk
At least 20 people have been hit by a food poisoning outbreak at a hospital in the Channel Islands.

Two wards at the King Edward the Seventh Geriatric Hospital on Guernsey have been closed to new admissions after patients and staff got the infection.

Fourteen patients have food poisoning, and health officials have confirmed that at least six of the cases have been caused by the salmonella bacterium.

Six staff have also been treated for salmonella.

An investigation into the outbreak has begun. Health officials from an infection control team are trying to find the source.

Salmonella food poisoning is normally caused by contaminated meat, eggs or milk, which have been inadequately cooked or refrigerated. It can be fatal.

Two wards closed by the infection have now been reopened.

The hospital has also been hit by a number of cases of scabies, a skin disorder caused by tiny insects burrowing under the skin.

Several patients are confirmed to have the mites and a total of 22 patients on the hospital's long stay ward are being treated as a precautionary measure.

Nurses and other staff who feel they may be at risk are also being offered treatment.

The condition leaves sufferers with a rash and intense itching.

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