Search

Bug outbreak prompts James Paget clampdown

15:36 04 March 2011

HUNDREDS of staff at the James Paget University Hospital were screened, along with other measures, as bosses fought to control the outbreak of a bug which is linked to the death of a patient.

Following higher-than-usual cases of Group A Streptococcus (GAS) in recent months, staff have been throat swabbed for the bug, with 10 being sent home and given antibiotics after testing positive.

The bug is often a mild infection that can affect up to one in three of the general population who are not aware they are carriers. It is often symptomless, but can lead to a sore throat, skin infection or something that resembles flu.

Though many who catch it recover quickly, in extreme forms it can also cause severe illness and complicate other conditions, especially those in hospitals. And visitors could be carriers.

There has been widespread concern at the JPH, which has had to deal with 21 cases in recent months, and a death in which the disease was one of multiple causes.

However, no new incidents have been recorded since February 14, indicating the fast and stringent action has kept it under control.

A spokesman for the hospital stressed the bug was not unusual for the time of year and added levels of the disease were back to normal. They said: “This rise occurred in December and January within the local community and in the hospital.

“However as a result of the stringent infection control measures introduced, the numbers of positive cases both in the hospital and the community appear to be falling.”

Of the 21 cases, 10 had come as a result of spread within the hospital. Following the outbreak those affected were isolated, with further screening of all those where GAS was detected, while one clinical area was closed. A warning was originally given last month by the hospital to visitors, asking them not to visit if they were feeling unwell.

And though some have pointed to the increase as possibly due to the natural cycle of the disease, the authority accepted it was not sure of the exact cause.

“The reasons behind the recent rise in Strep A cases, which now seem to be back to normal levels, are not fully understood,” the spokesman said.

“The Health Protection Agency, in conjunction with the hospital and community, is studying possible causes locally.

“It’s not unusual to see peaks in the community from time to time. Such occurrences have been seen throughout the UK in recent years.”

Related articles

0 comments

Other News

6 minutes ago
Persistent rain has been falling across Norfolk today

Emergency services are being called out to a catalogue of flooded roads tonight because of heavy rain.

Gorleston high street Christmas lights switch on.
November 2014. 

Picture: James Bass

With hats, hoods and umbrellas, a big crowd headed to Gorleston High Street for this year’s Christmas lights switch on.

18:35
Police appeal after rape allegations in Great Yarmouth.

Police are investigating allegations that a woman in her 20s was raped in Great Yarmouth.

The James Paget University Hospital.


 
Picture: James Bass

This year’s Sir James Paget Lecture will take a closer look at the idea of you are what you eat.

Most Read

18:35
Police appeal after rape allegations in Great Yarmouth.

Police are investigating allegations that a woman in her 20s was raped in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Gorleston high street Christmas lights switch on.
November 2014. 

Picture: James Bass

With hats, hoods and umbrellas, a big crowd headed to Gorleston High Street for this year’s Christmas lights switch on.

Read more
6 minutes ago
Persistent rain has been falling across Norfolk today

Emergency services are being called out to a catalogue of flooded roads tonight because of heavy rain.

Read more
Fri, 16:08
Patrick Manifold will turn on Gorleston's Christmas lights. Pictures: James Bass

Gorleston is gearing up for its annual festive extravaganza when the switch is flipped to turn on its twinkling Christmas lights.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:50
Harry Gough (left) and Adam Curtis are trying to highlight the problems with speeding outside the East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Gorleston.

Drivers were fooled into slowing down outside a busy college by officials aiming hairdryers like speed guns.

Read more

Most Commented

Yesterday, 10:50
Harry Gough (left) and Adam Curtis are trying to highlight the problems with speeding outside the East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Gorleston.

Drivers were fooled into slowing down outside a busy college by officials aiming hairdryers like speed guns.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:33
Tory defector Mark Reckless has been voted back in as the MP for Rochester and Strood - but this time as UKIP's second Member of Parliament.

If the UK Independence Party has a heartland, it is arguably the coastal towns and farming communities of eastern England.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:04
Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett. Photo: Bill Smith

Groups across Norfolk that help tackle and raise awareness of drug and alcohol issues are set to share in a £250,000 pot, after successfully bidding for funding.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Great Yarmouth Mercury e-edition today E-edition