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Half of all flies, moths and midges found in NHS hospitals may be carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria, research suggests.
Scientists collected 20,000 insects from seven different NHS sites across England, catching them in food storage areas and on actual wards.
Ten - Bacteria - Strains - E - Coli
They found nine out of ten carried potentially harmful bacteria, such as strains of E. coli and salmonella. Both bugs can cause diarrhoea.
Some 53 per cent of the strains of bacteria were shown to be resistant to antibiotics, which often prompts the label of 'superbug'.
Fifth - Antibiotics - Researchers - Aston - University
And of those, around a fifth were resistant to multiple antibiotics, according to the researchers at Aston University in Birmingham.
Professor Anthony Hilton, study co-author, did acknowledge that 'NHS hospitals are extremely clean environments'.
Risk - Patients - Bacteria - Insects - Hospitals
And he added that the risk of patients getting infected by bacteria carried by insects found in hospitals 'is very low'.
However, he said: 'Even in the cleanest of environments, it's important to take steps to prevent bacteria being brought into hospitals by insects.
Hospitals - Measures - Steps - Further
'NHS hospitals will already be implementing many of these measures, but there are simple steps that can be taken to improve this further.
All of the insects were collected from a variety of areas on NHS premises, some of which included neonatal and maternity units.
Ultraviolet - Light - UV - Flytraps - Course
Ultraviolet light (UV) flytraps were used over the course of the 18-month research project, alongside 'sticky' traps and electronic fly killers.
Most of the insects – around three quarters – collected were 'true flies', a group which...
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