Bacteria forced Puerto Rico hospital unit closure

by Danica Coto

A Puerto Rican hospital's intensive care unit was recently closed following an outbreak of a resistant bacteria strain, health officials revealed Tuesday.

At least 10 patients at the University of Puerto Rico Hospital in the northern city of Carolina who have since died were carrying the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii, said Dr. Haydee Garcia, epidemiology director of the island's health department.

She said eight of the patients did not die from the , but it's unclear whether the bacteria caused the deaths of the other two.

The deaths occurred between May and July and prompted Garcia to ask the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate.

"When this bacteria appears, it's a concern," she said. "It's not normal for humans to carry that bacteria."

Garcia blamed the presence of the bacteria on , saying an investigation found that medical personnel were not following basic procedures such as frequently washing their hands.

The bacteria usually occurs in intensive care units and is responsible for some 80 percent of reported infections, according to the CDC website.

It is unclear how many deaths the bacteria might have caused in Puerto Rico compared to the U.S. mainland. CDC spokeswoman Melissa Dankel said those statistics were not available.

Dankel referred other questions about the outbreak to Garcia, noting that the CDC was invited to investigate.

Garcia said the , which is being remodeled, has since tested negative for the bacteria.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Puerto Rico allocates $2M to fight citrus disease

Aug 27, 2013

Puerto Rico's governor declared a state of emergency Tuesday and ordered the release of $2 million to help agriculture officials fight a disease that has attacked citrus trees in the U.S. territory.

US drinking water sanitation still a concern: CDC

Sep 05, 2013

(HealthDay)—While U.S. water sanitation has improved, bacteria-laden drinking water continues to cause disease outbreaks, according to a report released Thursday by federal health officials.

Recommended for you

Hong Kong makes Ebola 'contingency' measures

29 minutes ago

Hong Kong said Wednesday it was quarantining all people from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia who were showing Ebola-like symptoms on arrival in the city, as fears grow worldwide about the spread of the deadly virus.

EU ready for Ebola threat: sources

3 hours ago

The European Union is equipped and ready to treat victims should the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa, be found in member states, EU sources said Wednesday.

Reducing kidney injury using a quality improvement method

8 hours ago

Using quality improvement measures in eight of the 10 hospitals in the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group, researchers have found a way to reduce kidney injury in patients undergoing a procedure with ...

App for headache sufferers shows success

20 hours ago

A unique app that helps headache sufferers to record the severity and regularity of their pain is being used as part of a Griffith research study.

User comments