Heartlands Hospital have confirmed that twenty patients and three members of staff are among those suffering from Salmonella-like symptoms, which include diarrhoea and vomiting.
Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Andrew Cotto, said:
Any infection in someone who is already ill can be very serious and we are taking every precaution possible to protect our patients and staff. We are concerned by the spread and number of patients who have tested positive, as this is unusual. Not all community Salmonella cases get reported as many people recover quickly and do not feel the need to go to see their GP...
...Usually, we see between two and four cases across the West Midlands reported monthly and for a hospital to see this number in such a short space of time requires expert investigation. This is why we are working closely with environmental health experts to continually carry out testing and cleaning. The key to preventing Salmonella passing from one person to another is correct hand washing and I am asking all visitors to ensure that they wash their hands on entry to any ward area and wash them on exit. The hospital is also asking visitors not to bring food in to the affected areas...
...We are doing everything possible for our patients, with clinical teams caring for and treating patients who are affected, and working with none affected patients to ensure their continued safety.
Heartlands Hospital, in Bordesley Green, has closed eight wards to visitors while it deals with an outbreak of Salmonella.
A mixture of 28 staff and patients have been affected by the outbreak and experts are concerned it might spread further into the community.
All areas of the site are being deep cleaned whilst patients are being tested for bacteria, although the bug has not been found in hospital food or water.
Visitors are advised not to visit the hospital if they have experienced symptoms in the last 48-hours.
More to follow...