NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is investigating a potential outbreak of three cases of the 027 strain of Clostridium difficile (C-diff) involving three patients in the Clyde area.
Two of the Clyde patients were both treated in the same ward at the Vale of Leven Hospital earlier this year.
One patient sadly died in March as a result of the infection.
The other patient was subsequently admitted to the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) in Paisley where they came into contact with another individual who has now also been confirmed as having the type 027 strain of the infection.
Both patients are being treated in isolation at the RAH in line with national infection control standards.
Due to a higher incidence in the number of C-diff cases across the UK and the creation of a new C-diff testing laboratory for Scotland, investigations by our infection control teams were able to establish that these three cases could be linked.
The most recent of the three infected patients became ill in April of this year, it was not known that it was the virulent 027 strain until last week when the national laboratory confirmed the strain. We are unaware of any new linked cases since April.
Tom Walsh, Infection Control Manager, for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “We have now established a possible link between all three cases and are treating this as a potential 027 outbreak.
“We have notified colleagues in Health Protection Scotland and continue to adhere to our strict infection control procedures. I would like to reassure patients that we are taking all the necessary measures required.”
A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Public Health Protection Unit emphasised: “This potential outbreak is not linked to the five cases of the 027 strain reported last week at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow. The four patients being treated at Stobhill are recovering well.”
Notes to Editors
Clostridium difficile (C diff) is a bacterium that causes diarrhoea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. It is found in around one in fifty healthy adults, who carry the bug without showing any symptoms. People who have other illnesses or conditions requiring prolonged use of antibiotics and the elderly are more likely to develop symptoms of the infection.
Type 027 C difficile is associated with more severe symptoms than other strains. It can also produce more toxin than the other more common strains of C difficile.
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