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SICK KIDS WARD SHUT AS 5 GET KILLER BUGS; Intensive care unit is closed over outbreak.

Byline: By Donna Watson

A SICK kids' hospital has shut its intensive care unit after five seriously ill children were hit by killer bugs.

Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow took the action on Friday after several strains were found of the pseudomonas bacterium.

The bug, which is highly resistant to most antibiotics, can affect heart valves and cause the brain infection meningitis as well as septicaemia and pneumonia.

The five cases found at Yorkhill were all different strains .

A spokeswoman for the hospital said: "The decision was taken not to admit any new patients to the unit as a precautionary measure.

"None of the children affected are giving cause for concern as a result of the bug.

"They are already seriously ill and that is why they are in the intensive care unit.

However, the bug itself is not causing them any harm.

"Strict infection control measures are in place and we are monitoring the situation regularly."

Pseudomonas is commonly found in soil and water, as well as on animals, and thrives on carbon sources such as soap residue.

Infection can affect many different parts of the body but usually targets the respiratory tract, causing bacterial pneumonia.

Treatment can be difficult owing to the bug's strong antibiotic resistance.

Some hospitals in Ireland caused controversy last year when they banned visitors from bringing flowers to patients as pseudomonas thrives on plants.

Yorkhill handles about 15,000 in-patients and 90,000 out-patients ever year.

The hospital provides care for children from newborn up to the age of 13, including those fighting childhood cancers.

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CRISIS: Sick kids hospital, Glasgow
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 24, 2007
Words:267
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