Hospital patients are moved out of ward after an outbreak of a bowel bacterium
Patients at Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast have had to be moved out of one ward following the discovery of an outbreak of clostridium difficile.
Belfast Trust confirmed last night that two patients at the south Belfast facility have been affected by the potentially dangerous bacterium, which can cause severe diarrhoea and bowel problems.
In a statement last night, the trust said: "The only service that were affected by this situation is Meadowlands Ward 2, which was closed briefly in order to facilitate a deep clean of the ward.
"As part of the management of this situation the ward was closed on a temporary basis to facilitate deep cleaning and it is now open to admissions.
"We continue to review and monitor the hygiene standards on the ward.
"The situation is being monitored closely and infection prevention control measures are in place to maintain a safe environment for our patients," the trust added.
The trust said it is working closely with medical staff to control the outbreak, and requested patients' families not to visit the hospital if they were unwell.
C.difficile is a spore-forming, toxin-producing bacteria which colonises the intestines of 1-3% of healthy adults and 66% of infants.
It is one of the leading causes of infectious diarrhoea in hospitals in industrialised countries.
The C.diff micro-organism affects particularly the elderly, as well as patients who are already very ill.