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Bugs with Bugs: Public Reporting of Pest Control

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The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is responding to the publication of pest control and infestation data. Several hundred news articles appeared today, many inferring a connection between poor pest control and MRSA or other hospital acquired infection, a charge being played down by both the facilities in question and the Labour government.

From the Telegraph article:

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Trust, the trust at the centre of Britain’s biggest superbug scandal when more than 300 patient deaths were linked to Clostridium difficile, reported more than 50 pest incidents in two years.

A spokesman for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said: “Most incidents relate to old buildings which have now been demolished at Pembury Hospital. There is no specific problem.”

From the Guardian article:

There were almost 20,000 incidents of pest infestation in hospitals between January 2006 and March this year, the figures obtained by the Conservatives reveal. The outbreaks included rats in maternity wards, wasps and fleas in neonatal units and maggots in patients’ slippers.

The figures show four-fifths (80%) of NHS trusts reported problems with ants, two-thirds (66%) with rats and more than three-quarters (77%) with mice.

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