E.coli strikes patients and staff in Scottish hospital

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The hospital where patients were treated during Scotland's E.coli tragedy last year which claimed 19 lives, is at the centre of a fresh outbreak of the bacteria, health officials confirmed last night.

The Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary has 12 confirmed cases of the infection among its elderly patients and staff. At the end of last week, three elderly residents developed intestinal infections which have now been confirmed as E.coli 0157. A further seven residents and two members of staff have since been found to have the same infection. The source is not yet known.

A statement issued by Central Scotland Healthcare NHS Trust, which manages the three wards involved in the outbreak, said: "All the residents affected are elderly and frail, but are currently not causing any additional clinical concern."

A full meeting of the Health Board, the NHS Trusts involved in the running of the hospital and Falkirk District Council is thought to have taken place yesterday afternoon to discuss the situation.

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