A potentially lethal hospital superbug has been reported across Britain, including in Birmingham, the Department of Health revealed yesterday.
But only one incident of the Clostridium difficile 027 infection has been reported in the city. That was at the Queen Elizabeth Elizabeth Hospital in 2002 and was only the second reported case in Britain.
It was previously believed only three hospitals had been struck by the infection, including Stoke Mandeville Hospital, in Buckinghamshire, where 12 patients died.
At the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust there have been 23 deaths, and one patient died at Oldchurch Hospital in Romford, Essex.
However Jane Kennedy, the Minister for Public Health, revealed that cases had been recorded at 12 other hospitals, including in Birmingham.
A QE Hospital spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that a single sample sent for analysis in 2002 was found to be positive for clostridium difficile 027. We can also confirm that no further cases of this very rare strain of clostridium difficile have been identified since 2002."
Birmingham and the Black Country Strategic Health Authority said: "The case in Birmingham was an isolated one some time ago, and we don't want to create unwarranted patient and public anxiety."
The bug mainly affects the elderly and causes diarrhoea.