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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 July 2006, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
Diarrhoea bug kills five patients
Microscope view of clostridium difficile
The NHS Trust and health protection bosses are tackling the bug
Five people died and more than 100 others were infected when a diarrhoea bug broke out at a Kent hospital in April, it has been revealed.

Maidstone Hospital said the clostridium difficile outbreak had been brought under control over the past two months.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said infection control measures were being taken.

Measures include stricter handwashing controls, additional hospital cleaning and dedicated wards for those infected.

The trust said five patients infected during the outbreak had clostridium difficile (C. diff) as "the definite cause of their death".

"You can kill the bug off, there are powerful antibiotics that do that," said the trust's Bernard Place.

Maidstone Hospital
Maidstone Hospital said it was bringing the outbreak under control

"But there are some patients who are resistant to that treatment and they don't respond unfortunately."

Mr Place said the main effect of the C. diff bug was diarrhoea and it primarily affected elderly people or those who were already ill.

"What we saw was a rise in the numbers of patients with this infection in April," he said.

Mr Place said: "Cases are still occurring but that is not a surprise to me.

"What I can say is that the levels from the peak in April have now returned to the background levels we saw before."

Mr Place said there had been a national trend towards increased C. diff infections.


SEE ALSO
Trust sees rise in superbug rate
29 Jun 06 |  Leicestershire
Two deaths linked to hospital bug
03 May 06 |  Leicestershire
Hospital copes with virus problem
16 Feb 06 |  Southern Counties

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