Five premature babies were today being treated for a bug outbreak which may have contributed to the death of a baby boy.
The babies are on the neonatal ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and have all been identified as carrying Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) positive Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus).
The bug, which is different from the MRSA strain identified in Stoke-on-Trent, can be treated with a range of antibiotics, the hospital said.
The baby boy was 27 weeks old and “very poorly” before his death from an infection on December 11, the hospital said.
But she said none of the babies had a clinical infection.
“With most of these babies, you would not be able to tell that they have it. It’s only because we tested and swabbed them.
“All the babies have been decolonised. We have used antiseptic to clean their skin and we are treating with antibiotics where appropriate.
“We have also re-cleaned all the cots.
“Some babies carry the strain on their skin, they are not suffering from any clinical infection.”
Staff and Parents have been screened and the hospital believes the control measures introduced mean that these babies, and others in the unit, are not now at any significant risk from this strain of S aureus.
The NICU and PICU at a hospital in Los Angeles was closed last week due to Psuedomonus. It has since been re-opened, but it is believed that The deaths of two premature babies may be linked to a bacterial outbreak.
Hospitals may have to start allowing only parents into the Intensive Care Units to visit their children.