Norwich Ice Rink Coming Soon. Click here to find out more!

Click here

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


Other News

35 minutes ago
Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

Houses were evacuated after a gas leak on Salk Road, in Gorleston.

Strong winds of up to 50mph are expected in East Anglia this afternoon. Photo by Simon Finlay

As strong winds hit the region, the Environment Agency has issued four flood alerts for the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.

Members of the unit performing in the Norfolk County Guide Choir in the mid-90s. Picture: Supplied

The future of one of the oldest Girlguiding units in the area is at risk unless new volunteers are found to take over the leadership roles.

Graham Joel has been volunteering for the coastguard for 30 years. Picture: Supplied

A station officer at the Gorleston Coastguard Station has been awarded a clasp to add to his long service medal after completing 30 years of voluntary service.

Most Read

Wed, 08:27
The Blackfriars Tavern in Great Yarmouth where there was a fire last night(Tuesday).

An investigation is under way after three people were treated for smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in a flat above a public house in Great Yarmouth last night.

Read more
Great Yarmouth
Mon, 17:45
Ad feature at Eastern Beach caravan park, Caister on-Sea.; Owners, Carole and Mark Jones.

A Norfolk farming and food products business has confirmed that the arrival of a large group of people in Caister is to cover the seasonal demand they face.

Read more
Mon, 17:48
Top row (left to right): Jason Colman was sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment; Jacqueline Dunne was sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment. Bottom row (left to right): Jeanette Wise was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment; Paul Mason was sentenced to 26 months imprisonment; Wandile Mirazi was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

A man who admitted his part in the supply of class A drugs in Norwich and Great Yarmouth has been sentenced to five years detention.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Yesterday, 12:05
Andrew McGowan.

A teenager accused of murdering Great Yarmouth man Andrew McGowan, has appeared in court.

Read more
Dickens Court
Wed, 12:41
Police Officer. Picture: Ian Burt

Residents in Hemsby and Caister have been targeted by a scam in recent weeks, where someone has claimed they are a police officer in order to try and extort money.

Read more
Lloyds Bank

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

Digital Edition

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