A WARD was closed at the Victoria Hospital after the discovery of a potentially deadly bacteria.

Traces of legionella were found in the water system yesterday (Thursday) in the tower block at the Kirkcaldy site.

Legionnaires' disease, which is uncommon but can be very serious and even fatal, is a lung infection that can be contracted from inhaling droplets of water containing the bacteria.

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A spokesperson for NHS Fife said no-one had been affected and added: “During routine monitoring of our water system, traces of legionella bacteria were recently detected in a small number of outlets in phase two of the Victoria Hospital.

Central Fife Times: Legionella was discovered in the water supply in the tower block at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.Legionella was discovered in the water supply in the tower block at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. (Image: Google Maps)

“As a precaution, Ward 10 was temporarily closed to enable remedial action, including chemical flushing of the affected part of the water system, to be carried out.

“Following these actions, the ward will reopen shortly with patient and staff safety remaining our priority, as it has throughout.”

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Legionnaires' disease is usually caught in places like hotels, hospitals or offices where the bacteria have got into the water supply.

In August the bacteria was found in water supplying parts of a cancer treatment ward at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

If not discovered, legionella can grow and multiply and water containing it can spread in droplets small enough for people to breathe in.

The ward closure at the Vic follows a previous closure of the ear nose and throat ward, after inspectors found it was in "very poor condition" during a three day visit from July 31 to August 2.