The discovery of a superbug has forced the closure of a ward at the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth.
It was discovered that eight patients in Zachary Cope Ward at St Mary’s Hospital were carrying CPE (carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae).
The antibiotic-resistant bacteria can lead to potentially fatal infections in the bloodstream and urine.
A spokeswoman for the NHS Trust said the 20-bed ward, specialising in vascular surgery, has been out of action since April 15.
“A ward at St Mary’s is temporarily not taking new admissions after we found a small number of vascular patients were carrying a microorganism in their gut,” she told The Mirror.
“Unfortunately three of these patients developed localised infections. All have completely recovered.”
The ward is now undergoing a deep cleaning and patients will continue to be screened for the bacteria.
There is no suggestion the bacteria could spread to the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where the second royal baby is expected to be born.
The unit is expected to reopen early next week.