Northern Ireland

Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children closes ward due to fungus infection

Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children
Image caption The ward at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children will be closed for approximately five weeks

A ward at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is to close temporarily due to a fungus infection.

The Belfast Health Trust confirmed that increased levels of aspergillus are present within one ward of the children's haematology unit.

The Trust said it had taken the decision to move patients from the ward to allow remedial works to take place.

It is expected the ward will be closed for approximately five weeks.

This is while work is carried out to allow the trust "to improve our management of air quality in the unit".

"During this period all at-risk patients will be cared for in other wards within the hospital with appropriate care plans in place," the Belfast Health Trust added in a statement,

Breathing difficulties

"We apologise to families impacted by this decision for the inconvenience it will cause.

"The safety and wellbeing of all our patients remains our top priority and every step is being taken to mitigate the short term risk to patients."

Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus or mould that can be found in heating or air conditioning systems.

It can affect the lungs and cause breathing difficulties.

Earlier this month, the BBC reported that one child at the hospital acquired the infection while being treated for another condition.

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