12 patients in KCH carry superbug at any one time

At least 12 people at Kerry General Hospital are carrying the MRSA Superbug at any one time, according to The Southern Health Board. But the board says the vast majority of carriers do not develop infections and are not even aware they have the bug. The Southern Health Board says over 30% of the population carry the germ, which helps make up MRSA, and go through life without being aware of it. However, MRSA can become a problem in hospitals, where many seriously ill patients are too weak to fight off infection. The superbug is antibiotic-resistant and therefore difficult to treat. The board says Kerry General Hospital has an infection control policy for staff to help combat its spread. Staff are issued with guidelines on hand washing, the use of alcoholic hand rubs and gloves and they also follow advice on the use of antibiotics. A report from a group monitoring the control of antimicrobial resistance in Ireland says the superbug is endemic in many hospitals and nursing homes. The report also shows this country has significantly higher levels of MRSA than other EU countries.

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