Princess Kate's Hospital Closes Off Surgical Ward to New Patients After Superbug Breakout
One of the hospital's vascular surgery units has stopped admitting patients since April 15 while treating and screening for a microorganism
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Looks like Princess Kate and her soon-to-be second child aren’t the only ones causing a stir on the grounds of St. Mary’s Hospital.
A superbug, affecting the stomach, has forced hospital officials to close off one of the facility’s surgical units to new patients.
The Zachary Cope ward, an eighth-floor vascular surgery wing in the hospital’s main building, has stopped admitting new patients since April 15 after staff discovered eight patients carrying Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) in their guts.
Officials confirmed that the private Lindo Wing, where Kate, 33, plans to deliver her baby, is “a distance away” from the ward on a different site and has not been affected.
“As part of our normal infection and prevention control processes, a ward at St. Mary s Hospital is temporarily not taking new admissions after we found that a small number of vascular patients were carrying a microorganism in their gut,” a spokesperson from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust tells PEOPLE.
“This microorganism can live harmlessly in the gut and does not need to be treated, as it can only cause an infection if the microorganisms get into the wrong place, such as the bloodstream.”
Three of the eight patients were discovered to have developed localized infections, but, according to the hospital’s spokesperson, have all since “completely recovered from their infections,” thanks to specific types of antibiotics.
None of the other patients have been said to develop any noticeable infections.
While the ward undergoes a deep cleaning of all areas within, the hospital continues to work closely with Public Health England to screen each of their patients for the microorganism and keep the outbreak contained. Officials anticipate the ward will reopen to new admissions in the coming days.
Keep reading PEOPLE.com for more on the royal birth.
• With reporting by SIMON PERRY