Civilian patients who were injured in the Libyan conflict last year and taken to the UK for treatment brought a dangerous bacteria with them, newly released documents reveal.
A report to the Department of Health’s advisory committee on antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infection said some civilian patients transferred from Libya brought with them the Klebsiella pneumoniae OXA-48 bacteria.
In a “horizon scan” document submitted to the committee’s February meeting, and released under the Freedom of Information Act, David Livermore, director of the Health Protection Agency’s antibiotic resistance monitoring and reference laboratory, said six of the 50 patients brought to the UK were found to have the bacteria.
An outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae OXA-48 in the Netherlands last year was linked to patient deaths.
Dr Livermore’s report said his fears that the bacteria would be introduced to the UK were realised. But he added that there had been “no significant spread” within the NHS hospitals that cared for these patients.