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Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children fighting fungal infection

It has been reported one child acquired Aspergillus while being treated for another condition

Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children
Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children

A number of hospitals across Belfast are dealing with an infection that can cause severe disease in patients with weakened immune systems.

Belfast Trust confirmed an increase in the level of Aspergillus in the environment at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Royal group of hospitals site compared to previous years.

In a statement, a trust spokesman said: "Aspergillus does present a risk to some high risk groups of patents and we are working to reduce the risk posed by this environmental organism."

Aspergillus is a fungus whose spores are present in the air, but does not normally cause illness. In those people with a weakened immune system, damaged lungs or with allergies, Aspergillus can cause disease.

The BBC has reported that one child acquired the infection while being treated for another condition and that other potential cases are being investigated.

The broadcaster reports the trust has been dealing with the infection for several weeks, but is having difficulty containing it.

Wards may have to be temporarily closed if other cases are confirmed.

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