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Pseudomonas outbreak 'under control' in Northern Ireland

The NI Health Minister also revealed that 30 people have died from the infection in the past four years.

Three babies died in the Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast in January
Three babies died in the Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast in January
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THERE HAVE BEEN no new cases of Pseudomonas reported in Northern Ireland since 24 January, Health Minister Edwin Poots told an assembly committee yesterday.

Stating that the outbreak is “now under control”, he said an independent review into the recent incidences of Pseudomonas at hospitals in Northern Ireland is underway.

An interim report on the outbreak, the response to the outbreak and the experiences of the families affected will be delivered before the end of March, he told the health committee at Stormont.

During the Health, Social Services and Public Safety meeting, it was revealed that 26 people have died after contracting the bacteria in the past four years.

In 2008, ten people died from the Pseudomonas infection, while three people died in 2009. Another ten deaths were linked to the infection in 2010 and a further three in 2011.

There was 80 to 95 infections per year reported across Northern Ireland in the same time period.

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That figure does not include the four babies who died from the infection in December and January – one at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry and three more in the neo-natal unit of the Royal Jubilee in Belfast.

The source of the infection was traced to taps in the hospital – all of which are currently being replaced. Poots also said that any recommendations that come after the investigation will be acted on.

More: Pseudomonas discovered in fourth neo-natal ward>’s coverage of the pseudomonas outbreak in NI>

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