Nurses accused of releasing cockroaches to 'sabotage' hospital and get easier jobs elsewhere

Suspicions raised by outbreak of insects commonly sold as food for exotic pets

Alex Matthews-King
Health Correspondent
Wednesday 20 February 2019 14:57
Outbreak comes after ant outbreak in second hospital a month earlier
Outbreak comes after ant outbreak in second hospital a month earlier

Nurses and trade union members in a busy Italian emergency department have been accused of releasing an infestation of cockroaches in a bid to be transferred elsewhere or discredit officials.

Local media have been following the suspected sabotage since a video emerged on social media of an infestation in a bathroom of the Vecchio Pellegrini Hospital in Naples last week.

An investigation into the outbreak was opened after experts identified the cockroaches were not typical of pest infestations but were readily available in pet shops as food for exotic reptiles.

Local Green party councillor Francesco Emilio Borrelli reportedly told local radio that the cockroaches were native to Madagascar, and this had raised suspicions with the hospital’s director, Maria Corvino.

“For this reason an investigation was opened,” he told Radio Cusano Campus. “It’s very serious: nurses and trade unionists appear to have sabotaged the Pellegrini to get a transfer from the hospital.”

Napoli Today reported that the initial video shared on social media was taken by a Dr Marina Romano, who reportedly said the incident left her speechless.

Italian news agency Ansa reported the outbreak comes a month after another hospital in the region, San Giovanni Bosco Hospital, made headlines after ants were filmed crawling on patients.

It also reported Mr Borrelli saying the issue has been reported to the NAS hygiene police agency who had said the outbreak appeared to be “sabotage”.

The hospital has been approached for comment.

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