Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Sunday, 3 May 2009 16:59 UK

Seven infants positive for MRSA

St Mary's Hospital
The hospital's neonatal unit has been shut to new admissions

Seven babies have tested positive for MRSA at a hospital in Manchester, the health trust has confirmed.

The superbug was found on the babies' skin during routine screening at St Mary's Hospital last week.

Doctors have stressed that none of the infants is currently infected or in any danger. The bug is only a problem when it enters the bloodstream.

Health bosses have temporarily closed the neonatal unit to new admissions as a precautionary measure.

Infection control

A Central Manchester University Hospitals' Trust spokesman said: "We can confirm the trust has temporarily restricted new admissions to its neonatal unit.

"This is due to a number of babies on the neo-natal unit testing positive for MRSA.

"We would like to stress however that none of the babies are currently infected; they have been identified through our weekly screening programme to be carrying the MRSA bacterium on their skin.

"Infection control teams are monitoring the situation very closely and, alongside staff on the unit, have taken steps to reduce the risks to our other babies."

About 6% of patients admitted to hospital carry the MRSA bacterium harmlessly on their skin.

The bug only becomes a problem when it enters the bloodstream of a vulnerable patient.

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