The Chief Clinical Director of the UL hospitals group has said whistleblower claims that there is a superbug infection at University Hospital Limerick that has claimed the lives of up to 30 patients are untrue.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News At One, Paul Burke said an initial case of superbug KPC was detected, in isolation, at the hospital in 2009, and again in 2011 following an outbreak locally, when three patients died.

Mr Burke said there are carriers of superbugs everywhere, who are an increased risk to themselves should they get other conditions which also reduce their general health.

He said HIQA inspections during 2013 at University Hospital Limerick deemed everything appropriate was being done.

He added that KPC has not been eradicated at the hospital, but it has been reduced.

"This is a world-wide problem. No, we haven't got rid of it, but we have reduced it, for example, on our surgical side, from the third quarter of last year, we've only had three cases isolated of carriers.

"None of these people having it as an infection as their primary problem and on the medical side, we have reduced it by 40%."