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Three Salmonella patients die at Birmingham hospital

It has emerged that three people who caught Salmonella and were at Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital have died.

In total, 43 people in the West Midlands have caught the food poisoning bug, 34 of them connected with the Heartlands Hospital.

A Hospital spokesperson, said:

One of the deaths is subject to a coroner’s inquest and therefore we are unable to comment at this stage.

We can confirm that we have tested both food and water at the Heartlands site and have ruled these out as the root cause of the infection.

We are working with the Public Health England to investigate the other two cases, which includes the possibility of the infection being community acquired.

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National

Counties hit by Salmonella outbreak revealed

Health officials have warned they are investigating a national outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis.

The cases of Salmonella were reported:

  • Hampshire: 55 cases - 32 were connected with a single restaurant
  • London: 25 cases - 11 people were hospitalised
  • Cheshire and Merseyside: 33 cases - 31 related to a single restaurant
  • West Midlands: 43 cases - 31 connected with Birmingham Heartlands Hospital outbreak

Cases have also been seen in France and Austria, Public Health England said.

There have been no cases of Salmonella reported in Wales or Scotland so far.

Number of protesters occupying land next to Stafford Hospital increasing

It is exactly a month since protesters began occupying land next to Stafford Hospital.

They are campaigning to stop health services being moved away from the town.

The number of tents on the site is growing and Support Stafford Hospital says it will stay for as long as it takes.

We respect the rights of campaigners to express their views on the future of services. I have received reassurances from the organisers that there will be no disruption to patients or visitors.

– Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust
National

PHE 'making good progress' in Salmonella investigation

Public Health England has been "making good progress" in its investigation into a national outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis, the doctor leading the probe has said.

Consultant epidemiologist Dr Paul Cleary said they "hope to have more conclusive evidence shortly."

Sample being tested for Salmonella.
Public Health England is said to have been making 'good progress' in its Salmonella outbreak investigation. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

“We will continue to monitor the situation and if there is any further public health action necessary then we will ensure that this takes place,” he added.

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What is Salmonella Enteritidis?

Public Health England has announced it is investigating a national outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis - but what is it?

  • It is a strain of bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness
  • The bacteria can be found in uncooked meat, seafood, poultry and eggs
  • It is one of the most common strains of Salmonella reported worldwide
  • Anyone can get a Salmonella infection
  • However, the elderly, infants and people with impaired immune systems have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill

Symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever.

Source: Public Health England and US Center for Disease Control

43 people in West Midlands affected by national outbreak of Salmonella

43 people in the West Midlands have been affected by a national outbreak of Salmonella which Public Health England is now investigating.

Other cases have been recorded in other parts of the country and also in Austria and France.

We are working with our colleagues across PHE, at the Food Standards Agency, in local authorities and with other public health organisations in Europe to investigate the cause of this outbreak. We are making good progress and hope to have more conclusive evidence shortly.

– Dr Paul Cleary, a consultant epidemiologist leading the PHE investigation
Salmonella is often associated with poultry or eggs
Salmonella is often associated with poultry or eggs Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

Salmonella Enteritidis is a strain of bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness and is often associated with poultry or eggs.

Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

Symptoms are self-limiting and most people recover without treatment although it is important to remain hydrated.

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