Two die after virus strikes Glasgow cancer centre

Patients at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre have tested positive for RSV. Picture: John Devlin

Patients at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre have tested positive for RSV. Picture: John Devlin

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Two patients have died and seven more tested positive for a virus that has closed part of the Beatson cancer centre in Glasgow to new admissions.

A third patient at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (BWSCC) is said to be giving “cause for concern”.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said one of the patients who died had significant underlying health issues. The other patient was discharged but later died in another hospital.

The health board described Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) as “a common germ that causes lung and airway infections in infants and young children” but which can cause pneumonia in those with compromised immune systems.

Dr Teresa Inkster, consultant microbiologist and infection control doctor, NHSGGC, said: “Initially four patients tested positive for RSV, one was community acquired and the other three were healthcare acquired, and appropriate infection control measures were put in place including closing the ward to new admissions.

“We also tested the other patients in the ward. A further three patients tested positive.

“Sadly two patients have passed away this week and our thoughts and sympathies are with both their families at this difficult time.

“One of the patients who died had significant underlying health issues. This patient was extremely unwell as a result of these significant health issues and RSV was not the cause of their death.

“The second patient who died had been discharged from the BWSCC after being assessed as clinically fit. However, this patient’s condition subsequently deteriorated and they were admitted to a hospital outwith the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area where they sadly passed away. A third patient is giving cause for concern and has been transferred to the intensive care unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, however, the patient is stable.

“Two patients remain in the ward who have tested positive but are not giving any cause for concern as a result of the RSV.

“The other two patients have already been discharged home.

“We also tested staff of which two tested positive and are at home recovering.”

RSV is spread by tiny droplets and sneezing or by touching surfaces with the virus on it.

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