HPA hopes to minimise GAS outbreaks in hospitals

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has taken the step to issue new guidelines to help clinical facilities minimise their risk of a group A streptococcal (GAS) outbreak.

In collaboration with the GAS Working Group, the HPA expanded its recommendations to deal with the specific threat of this particular type of bacterium.

Most of the time humans do not experience any ill-effects from GAS, but occasionally the bug can result in life-threatening infection.

"These new recommendations are specifically aimed at assisting healthcare workers in controlling the spread of these infections," said Dr Joe Kerney, chair of GAS Working Group.

He added that although hospital-acquired infections are rare, it was better to have preventative measures in place and these guidelines had been formulated by experts working alongside patient support groups.

This comes after the HPA stated that 90 per cent of the campylobacter outbreaks in 2011 were associated with chicken liver preparation in catering venues.

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