Super-Bug In Hospital Takes The Life Of 27 Weeker

Five premature babies at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are receiving treatment for a bug outbreak that may have contributed to the death of a baby boy. The babies have all tested positive for Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) positive Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus), a strain of bacteria different from the MRSA strain found in Stoke-on-Trent.

The hospital assures that the bug can be treated with antibiotics. The baby boy who passed away was 27 weeks old and suffered from an infection on December 11. Tests revealed that he had a strain of PVL positive S aureus, suggesting it may have played a role in his death.

Dr. Judith Richards, a consultant microbiologist at the hospital, explains that it’s difficult to determine if the five other babies contracted the toxin from the deceased baby. These vulnerable premature babies, some of whom have undergone surgery, do not show any signs of clinical infection.

The hospital has taken immediate action to treat and decolonize all the babies, clean the cots, and screen around 70 to 80 staff members and appropriate parents. The situation is being closely monitored in collaboration with the Health Protection Agency to identify the source of the infection.

This cluster of cases is the first of its kind in the 28-cot neonatal unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The infection is a rare strain of Staphylococcus aureus and is unrelated to the recent MRSA-related strain in the West Midlands. The affected babies are responding well to treatment.

The hospital suspects that the infection was introduced from the community between November 22 and December 19. To prevent further spread, the unit has undergone specialist cleaning and is closed to new admissions from other hospitals. Visiting on the unit is limited to parents only.

PVL attacks white blood cells, compromising the body’s ability to fight infection. Though rare in hospitals, the infection is treatable. This incident tragically highlights the vulnerability of premature babies and our hearts go out to the parents affected.

Five premature babies are being treated for a bug outbreak that may have contributed to the death of another baby. The hospital is taking appropriate measures to control the situation and ensure the well-being of all patients.


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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