UK & World News
Twenty-Three Treated In Salmonella Outbreak
More than 20 people at a hospital in the West Midlands have been struck down by an "unusual" salmonella outbreak.
Health officials have expressed concern at how it has been spreading and are investigating the cause.
They said there were usually two to four cases reported across the region each month.
Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital said eight patients were being treated in its wards for the effects of the bacteria. All are in a stable condition.
Four staff members and 19 patients have so far tested positive for a common strain of salmonella.
This has prompted fears of a more widespread community-based outbreak.
Restrictions have been put in place on visitors to eight wards at the hospital, and deep-cleaning processes have been implemented.
A hospital spokesman said tests had not highlighted any signs of the salmonella bacteria in hospital food or water.
All visitors to the medical facility are being asked wash their hands on entry and exit from any ward area.
And they are advised not to visit the site if they have had diarrhoea or vomiting within the previous 48 hours.
Medical director Dr Andrew Catto said: "Any infection in someone who is already ill can be very serious and we are taking every precaution possible to protect our patients and staff.
"We are concerned by the spread and number of patients who have tested positive, as this is unusual.
"Not all community salmonella cases get reported, as many people recover quickly and do not feel the need to go to see their GP.
"Usually, we see between two and four cases across the West Midlands reported monthly and for a hospital to see this number in such a short space of time requires expert investigation."