New Superbug Strain Hits Hospital

Klebsiella superbug strain


A kidney patient has died and at least seven people have become infected with a new superbug strain at a Staffordshire hospital.

The BBC reports that 13 patients on a ward at University Hospital of North Staffordshire got Klebsiella Pneumoniae, and eight of them developed a resistant strain.

Hospital microbiologist George Orendi said he was surprised by the contagious nature of Klebsiella.

A hospital spokesman said: "Eight [patients] have a new strain that has not been seen elsewhere."

It is understood the infection was contained by late February with 13 cases still being treated.

"What makes it of concern is the number of patients that we have found with the resistant strain," Dr Orendi said.

"It is transmitted between patients. This particular type has not been seen elsewhere."

The hospital has cleaned ward 29 to intensive care standards and all patients on the ward, which is used for kidney patients, are now being screened weekly for Klebsiella.

Health professionals say the strain of superbug to which Klebsiella belongs is capable of adapting far more quickly than MRSA.

A University Hospital of North Staffordshire spokesperson said: "Various different strains have been identified in the 13 cases currently at University Hospital.

"Eight have a new strain that has not been seen elsewhere.

"One of the patients who developed the infection had a number of other serious conditions and has subsequently died."

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Julie Lewis from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “We hope that all efforts are taken to isolate the infection as soon as possible and that those affected are treated appropriately and make a good recovery. It is encouraging to see that the hospital has recognised the seriousness of the situation and appear to be taking all necessary steps to contain the spread of infection.”