London hospital systems still disrupted by virus

Systems at three London hospitals hit by a virus on Tuesday are expected to be back to normal in days, rather than weeks, according to a spokesman

A virus that hit systems at several London hospitals is still causing disruption, days after the infection first occurred.

The virus infected systems at Barts and the London NHS Trust — including St Bartholomew's in the City, The Royal London in Whitechapel and The London Chest in Bethnal Green. On Tuesday, the hospitals were forced to adopt manual back-up systems after networks became overloaded.

A spokesman told ZDNet UK sister site silicon.com that the trust doesn't yet know when the systems will be back to normal, but said that it's likely to be days rather than weeks. "There's no firm date yet," he added.

The virus has been identified as Mytob, the spokesman said.

According to antivirus vendor McAfee, W32/Mytob.gen@mm — a mass-mailing worm — was first identified in February 2005 and is categorised as a low risk.

The trust has yet to identify the source of the infection.

"The investigation is ongoing; our priority is getting everyone back on the network. We're continuing our recovery plan. When the PCs get back online, they need to be secure," the spokesman added.

During the virus attack, patient care has been largely functioning as normal, with theatres, outpatient appointments and A&E all remaining operational.

The trust said it will make a decision as to whether it will change its procedures after the ongoing investigation is complete.