Bug outbreak affects staff and patients in two Altnagelvin wards

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Staff and patients at two wards in Altnagelvin have been affected by an outbreak of the Streptococcus Group A bug with health authorities asking visitors to avoid the hospital if they are feeling unwell.

The Trust is asking for the cooperation of the public with increased infection control measures.

The increased infection control measures are due to a number of staff members and patients being tested and treated for the bacterial infection Streptococcus Group A at the hospital.

A spokesperson for the Western Trust, said: “Commonly the Streptococcus Group A symptoms are sore throats and minor skin conditions. It is a bacterium that is prevalent in the local community and in most cases can be effectively treated by a course of antibiotics. The Trust has robust infection prevention controls in place and anyone who presents with symptoms will be tested and will commence appropriate treatment.”

The spokesperson added: “The bacterial infection is currently isolated to two ward areas and as a precautionary measure all elective (non-emergency) surgery in one ward was put on hold for an initial 48 hours. Infection prevention control measures, including cleaning in both areas have also been enhanced.

“The Western Trust would appeal for the public to cooperate with standard infection control measures. Visitors to the hospital should adhere to the visiting policy, only two visitors per patient at any one time, wash their hands thoroughly before and after visiting. Anyone feeling unwell or suffering a sore throat should avoid visiting the hospital.”