A CHILD cancer ward has been closed to new admissions after three vulnerable patients contracted infections in a fortnight.

The Herald on Sunday can reveal that two children being treated at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow for cancer have been struck down by rare bugs.

The two new cases are separate from a previous infection, linked to the water supply at the £842m super hospital, which this newspaper reported last week.

There have now been three vulnerable patients infected with three different bacteria, all on ward 6A, in the last fortnight.

Some children were transferred to the QEUH last year from the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) after an outbreak of water-borne bacteria at the children's facility.

While the two children infected with rare bacteria are being treated, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that they were"taking the precaution of prescribing prophylactic antibiotics" to other patients.

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A spokeswoman said the ward has been closed to new admissions as they have had to close part of it down for investigation, with patients being "diverted" elsewhere.

Experts are still trying to locate the source of both of the latest rare infections and would not specify the type of pathogen involved due to "patient confidentiality".

The first infection, linked to the water supply, has been reported to Health Protection Scotland and a panel of experts have discussed

A spokeswoman said: "A number of measures have been taken to enhance the environment within Ward 6A and to improve the quality of the water supply and of the air quality. These measures are having good effect with positive results.

"Infection rates remain within expected levels for the patients treated on Ward 6A, however in light of two rarer infections, we are taking the precaution of reviewing infection control practices and procedures and the ward environment.

"These are two different infections and at this stage there is nothing to link the infections to the ward’s infection control practices or the environment.

"In order to facilitate our investigations, we require to keep part of the ward unoccupied for a short period.

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"New admissions are therefore temporarily being diverted. Outpatients and day cases continue as normal.

"In addition we are taking the precaution of prescribing prophylactic antibiotics for patients on the ward."

"We would also reiterate all the advice previously given and ask visitors for their assistance by continuing good hand hygiene practice when in the ward.

"Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to give any information on individual patients other than to confirm that both are receiving treatment for their infection."