THIS WEEK IN 1971: ‘Killer’ liver disease found at city hospital

Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason with Matt Thomas who uses LDD (holding cheque), Andy Hirst and Robin Arkle of Costa and LDD Youth Club members. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

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Medical staff at St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth, revealed there were four cases of hepatitis B being treated in their infectious diseases ward.

The illness, which can still be life-threatening in adults today had caused the deaths of a number of medical staff at an Edinburgh hospital.

But Dr W O’Driscoll, consultant in infectious diseases, said he did not regard the outbreak as serious and no members of staff were involved.

He also clarified remarks made by Portsmouth Hospital Group secretary K Dryden, who said diseases being treated on the ward included hepatitis and typhoid.

Dr O’Driscoll said: ‘We have one patient who is a typhoid carrier.

‘He is undergoing long-term treatment, but there are no new typhoid cases and there is no question of a typhoid outbreak.’

The confirmation of the four cases of hepatitis B came in the same week it was announced St Mary’s Hospital was to be given £50,000 to improve its facilities for treating infectious diseases.

Mr Dryden said: ‘We are studying plans to upgrade J Ward, an existing block now used for polio cases.’