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Visiting restrictions remain in place at Limerick hospital

There are visiting restrictions at Limerick’s Mid Western Regional Hospital following the outbreak of a antibiotic-resistant bacterium.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

VISITING HOURS REMAIN restricted at Limerick’s Mid Western Regional Hospital, following an outbreak of a multi-resistant bacterium.

Seven patients at the hospital have contracted the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC), in what is thought to be the first outbreak in Ireland, RTÉ reports. The bacterium is a variant of the common bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, which causes pneumonia and urinary tract infections.

People with underlying medical conditions or with compromised immune systems could be very seriously affected by the infection. The KPC-producing bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics, including penicillin.

IrishHealth.com quotes a spokesperson for the hospital, who said: ”KPC-producing bacteria are a common type of bacterium that has evolved into a major challenge for infection control, as infections associated with these organisms are difficult to treat because most strains are resistant to the majority of our usual antibiotics. Prevention of infection is key.”

Intensive cleaning is now taking place in the wards where the infection has been detected, the Irish Times reports.

Visitors have been asked to avoid the hospital in all but the most serious of cases. People with chronic illnesses, the elderly, children, pregnant women and young adults have been advised to avoid the hospital entirely.

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