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Superbug Kills 2 at LA Hospital, 5 Others Infected, 179 Exposed

Image: Superbug Kills 2 at LA Hospital, 5 Others Infected, 179 Exposed
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on University of California campus. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 10:43 AM

A deadly superbug is believed to have killed two patients at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center – with five other patients infected and 179 exposed to it – after the bacteria was linked to contaminated medical scopes there.

Seven patients were infected with the drug-resistant superbug, known as Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, with two of them dying, sources told the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper said the number of those infected may increase as people continue to get tested.

Hospital officials discovered the superbug outbreak last month while testing patients and began notifying 179 patients treated from October to January to offer them medical tests, wrote the Times. The bacteria can kill 40 to 50 percent of the patients if it spreads into the bloodstream by some estimates, according to the Times.

Speaking for the hospital in a written statement, according to CNN, Roxanne Yamaguchi Moster said that the two medical scopes in question were sterilized to the manufacturer's instructions.

"However, an internal investigation determined that CRE bacteria may have been transmitted during a procedure that uses this specialized scope to diagnose and treat pancreaticobiliary (disorders of the bile ducts, gall bladder or pancreas)," said Moster.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, healthy people usually do not get CRE infections, but patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings are usually vulnerable to the deadly disease.

The CDC said on its website that patients usually acquire the disease from devices like ventilators, urinary catheters, or intravenous catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections.

UCLA spokesman Dale Tate told the Times that the scopes were immediately removed and the hospital was currently using cleaning instruments with a process that are "above and beyond the manufacturer and national standards."

Tate declined to give information on the two patients who died, citing patient confidentiality, according to the Times.

The Times reported that since 2012 there have been about roughly a half-dozen disease outbreaks affecting up to 150 patients in medical centers in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington state medical center.

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A deadly superbug is believed to have killed two patients at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center – with five other patients infected and 179 exposed to it – after the bacteria was linked to contaminated medical scopes there.
superbug, kills, la, hospital
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2015-43-19
Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 10:43 AM
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