Twenty patients are in intensive care and 100 staff members are under observation at the National Hospital after bacterial infection MRSA was found at the hospital last weekend.
The bacterial strain was found during a routine round of patient inspections. Ólafur Gudlaugsson senior physician of the Infection Control Department at the National Hospital told RÚV that no one at the hospital is in a life-threatening condition because of the bacteria.
MRSA, a type of staphylococcus bacteria and common cause of disease in humans, stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.
Gudlaugsson said MRSA is immune to regular antibiotics and can cause serious infections in wounds. The bacteria lives in the skin and nose and spreads from there to other parts of the body or between humans.
Gudlaugsson added that it can be very difficult to fight the bacteria, but by treating skin infections with special soap and antibiotics, it can be eliminated.
This kind of MRSA infection has occurred at three earlier occasions at the hospital and was successfully eradicated each time. Gudlaugsson said he hoped the isolation could be lifted at some point during the weekend.