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Visiting is temporarily restricted at the neonatal ward at University Hospital16:00 15/06/2012
As part of our on-going monitoring, three babies within our neonatal unit have tested positive for a common community based infection (ParaInfluenza Virus 3) that can cause colds. The neonatal unit provides expert, round-the-clock care for new-born babies who are ill or born prematurely.
Although this virus does not usually cause harm in healthy adults or children, babies being treated in the neonatal unit are more susceptible. As a precaution we have made the decision to temporarily suspend visiting and new admissions to the unit at University Hospital while we carry out further investigations. Parents will still be able to visit, however we have asked that siblings and extended family members do not visit at this time.
We have an expert team meeting on a daily basis to continually monitor and review the situation. A deep clean of the unit and its equipment is underway and we have informed and are taking advice from the Health Protection team.
Mark Radford, Chief Nurse at UHCW NHS Trust said: “Our focus is on the health and well-being of those in our care and ensuring that the virus is not able to be passed on to others. As we routinely test any babies with respiratory symptoms, this means it was identified early and we have been able to take quick decisions to protect the babies.”
“All families in the unit have been informed and we apologise to anyone affected but hope they understand that this decision is taken as a precautionary measure so that vulnerable babies are not put at risk.”
Notices have been put in place around the ward advising visitors of the restrictions in place. We would remind visitors that if they feel unwell in themselves (e.g. coughs, colds, sickness, diarrhoea etc.) that they should not visit until they have been symptom-free for three days.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PRESS RELEASE PLEASE CONTACT KERRY BEADLING, HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS, ON 02476 967597
NOTES TO EDITORS
An update will be given early next week if there is any change and the website will be updated.
Mike Weinbren, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at UHCW NHS Trust: “This virus is a common bug out in the community.
“As these babies are more likely to be susceptible to most infections anyway it is the most sensible and responsible decision to temporarily shut the unit while we continue to monitor the situation.”
The parainfluenza virus is the most common virus that causes croup. Three different strains of the virus are responsible for around 80% of croup cases. These are:
- parainfluenza I
- parainfluenza II
- parainfluenza III
Parainfluenza I is the strain responsible for most cases of croup and cold-type symptoms.
The virus can be transmitted through close contact with people who are infected and through infected objects and surfaces. As with many viruses, the parainfluenza virus is often spread when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes and the infected droplets are breathed in.