Japan fungus is a potentially deadly fungus which is drug-resistant. Public Health England (PHE) have found the fungus in 20 NHS trusts and independent hospitals in the UK.
It has emerged that more than 200 patients have been contaminated.
Whilst most people carry the fungus without any symptoms it can be fatal to those with weakened immune system.
The fungus can live inside the body and on the skin. Once it causes complications it is difficult to treat as it is resistant to the common fungicides used.
The Times reported that at King’s College Hospital in South London, board papers said: “While the trust is implementing infection prevention and control protocols, it was noted that the spread of the pathogen is affected by low nursing levels.”
Thirty-one patients at the hospital were infected in a year-long outbreak at the hospital. The fungus was carried in by a woman who was transferred from the Royal Brompton Hospital.
In 2012, a study on US nurses found as they were placed under more pressure and started to burnout, the number of infections among their patients rose.
Public health chiefs in the UK said that a screening programme could be put in place for patients at the most risk, such as children and those in intensive care.
In busy times, it is possible that handwashing becomes less of a priority and overstretched nurses may not be able to carry out tasks as frequently changing drips.
Three hospitals in the UK have had large and difficult to control outbreaks according to the PHE.
The official reports say that no one has died because of the infections and the cases are usually minor.
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