A VIRUS expert who has worked through several epidemics has joined the team at the trust which runs Colchester Hospital.

Dr Mubby Husain has become the first consultant virologist at East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust.

He joined the infection and microbiology team during the outbreak of coronavirus to help tackle the virus and other patient-acquired infections.

“To an extent everyone feels they’ve become a bit of a virologist themselves during the last year, having heard so much about viruses and how they mutate.” Said Mubby.

But virology is a highly specialist standalone area.

The role of a clinical virologist means working as part of an infection team focusing primarily on the diagnosis, management, and prevention of viral infections.

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Mubby added: “My role is part of Project 3000 - a new molecular laboratory to develop the molecular infectious diseases service while providing an inhouse virology specialist service to support infection control and patient care.”

Having worked through several previous epidemics, including Swine Flu and Ebola, Mubby has many years of experience at large hospitals dealing with a range of infection issues.

He said: “My focus is virological primarily, and part of my work involves reviewing and authorising significant test results from patients and working closely with my microbiology and infection control colleagues in advising hospital clinical teams, infection control, GPs and community health protection.

“I help clinical teams investigate and manage patients with viral infections such as herpes viruses, hepatitis, HIV, complex infections in immunocompromised patients including transplant, haematology and oncology and returning travellers with potential imported exotic infections.

“My work includes advising on the diagnosis and management of congenital and pregnancy related infections too."

Virology has gained a new prominence as a speciality in the NHS because of the coronavirus pandemic - before the pandemic, the role existed mainly in large hospitals.

Mubby said: “I am looking forward to building on the incredible work already done by my colleagues in microbiology, the molecular lab, infection control and pathology across both Colchester and Ipswich."

Mubby is helping to streamline molecular testing in the lab and reviewing the diagnostic virology infrastructure across both Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.