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Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Superbug outbreak 'contained'
Bacterial culture
The infection has been confirmed in 13 patients
Health chiefs believe they have contained an outbreak of dangerous superbug MRSA that has forced the closure of a cardiac surgery unit.

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary suspended heart surgery on Friday when all 13 patients in the cardiac unit where found to have the bug.

However, on Saturday it was revealed that no further cases of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, had been detected.

A Lothian University Hospitals NHS Trust spokeswoman also said those patients with the infection were "stable".

Malcolm Chisholm
Malcolm Chisholm has called for a report

She said nine patients have developed signs of infection, while the remaining four had yet to develop symptoms.

The outbreak has not spread beyond the hospital's intensive-care unit for cardiac surgery.

MRSA can cause infections of the bone and the heart, and is referred to as a superbug because it resists treatment with commonly used antibiotics.

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said he was concerned about the outbreak and had asked the trust "a series of urgent questions" about it.

All non-urgent cardiac surgery scheduled for next week at the hospital was suspended and an investigation was launched by the Trust's infection control committee chairman Dr Sheila Burns.

See also:

06 Apr 02 | Scotland
Superbug hits hospital patients
03 Apr 02 | Scotland
Hospital infections under microscope
14 Mar 02 | Health
UK top of superbug league
17 Feb 00 | Health
NHS bugs 'kill 5,000 a year'
18 Sep 01 | Health
Winning the superbug war
25 May 01 | Health
'Birth of a superbug'
30 Oct 00 | Scotland
Hospitals 'beating the superbugs'
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