Cases of one superbug are 'too high' in Ayrshire - according to the Director of Nurses.

Between April 1 and November 30 last year, there were 75 incidents of Staphylococcus Aureus (SAB), a bug which can cause minor skin infections or lead to life-threatening ailments including sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis.

34 people contracted the infection in the area’s hospitals while 26 patients picked it up in the community. Six people injecting drugs also ended up contracting SAB.

SAB recently contributed to the death of two premature babies in the Princess Royal maternity hospital in Glasgow.

Rates of of another infection – Clostridium difficile – are within allowed limits in Ayrshire.

There were 67 cases of Clostridium difficile infection in the first eight months of the year, the NHS Ayrshire & Arran board meeting heard this week.

Director for Nurses Hazel Borland told the meeting the board would meet year-end goals for keeping Clostridium difficile levels low.

She predicted the board would not be able to meet the SAB targets, however.

Levels of E-coli bacteria are also monitored but there are no national targets to comply with.

Ayrshire sees about 400 cases of E-coli every year.

A report presented to the board said: “The continual management and monitoring of healthcare associated infections is driving down infection rates.”

Five wards in Ayr Hospital and one in Ailsa shut in November because of Norovirus outbreaks.

Stations 14, 12, 8, 9 and 16 in Ayr Hospital were hit affecting 46 patients and 32 staff. Half of the six outbreaks were confirmed as Norovirus while the other three were suspected.