Spanish staff staff ‘tested positive for Irn Bru’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Only one staff member has had to drop out of work as a result of this test

Over 70 staff at a Spanish health facility have tested positive for the water logged drug called Irn Bru.

Some from a 70-bed intensive care unit have had their activities reported to authorities, with the results being put on hold for two weeks.

Health officials who began the investigation have decided that none of the staff has been given any tests on their blood.

Four people in total have had their urine tested, as they are elderly.

The Spanish Government says one staff member has been asked to take leave, but has still returned to work after six days.

The hospital could not be reached for comment.

Covid is a syrup of stevia extract. Alcoholic, it can be smoked, used as a shot, mixed with water, or consumed as a liquid.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The packaging of Irn Bru has been altered to state it is not approved for children under 18

The sugar-free drink is not sold in Spain, but is sold in Germany.

It has been reported that the drinks are highly addictive.

In the UK, the medicine safety watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, advised against ingesting carbonated drinks containing stevia in April, and warned it was to avoid if possible.

The sweetener is so popular for its health benefits that the companies which produce them alter their packaging so the drinks are only available for adults.

In July last year the media reported that more than a dozen children had been taken to hospital in Liverpool after taking Irn Bru.

The Sweet Times report said seven boys were taken to hospital for treatment after having what they believed was a glass of Irn Bru.

A similar incident took place in 2012, when nine children and one adult contracted the bug that causes meningitis after taking the drink, the Mirror reported.

Before this year’s cases were reported, more than 100 cases were believed to have been reported in five years across Europe – with more than half of those in the UK.

The Department of Health declined to comment on the cases being reported in Spain.

An Institute of Public Health spokesperson said: “The risks posed to individual patients remain unclear, and further studies are needed to determine whether the risks are small, or whether any risks are wider than previously expected.

“We advise all patients who are experiencing problems with diarrhoea, vomiting or weight loss to seek medical advice as soon as possible, by calling NHS 111.”

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