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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 10:13 GMT
Two die on C.diff hospital ward
Medway Maritime Hospital
The outbreak happened on McCulloch ward at Medway Maritime
Two patients who contracted the sickness and diarrhoea bug clostridium difficile (C.diff) during an outbreak at a Kent hospital have died.

Medway Maritime Hospital said it was looking into the deaths but was confident they were unrelated to the infection on the McCulloch ward.

Two other patients also caught the bug, one of whom is still being treated on the ward but in isolation.

McCulloch is expected to reopen on Thursday after being deep cleaned.

Director of Nursing Jacqueline Geoghegan said the outbreak of the potentially fatal bacterium had been contained and not spread through the hospital.

Learn for future

She said it was not possible to say whether C.diff had caused complications in existing conditions of the patients who died.

"We are looking into that - every case of C.diff is looked at so we can learn for the future," she said.

She said it was not yet known what had caused the outbreak.

"Some people have C.diff before they come into hospital and some catch it in the hospital," she said.

A specialist in-house team was brought in to clean the ward after it closed on Monday.

The hospital urged members of the public to avoid visiting if they have symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting.

Visitors, staff and patients have also been reminded of the importance of observing good hand hygiene, at the hospital, in the community and at home.

Q&A: Clostridium difficile
11 Jan 07 |  Health

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