Los Angeles, California- CRE, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, may have contributed to two deaths at the UCLA Reagan Medical Center.
179 people were exposed, 7 contracted it, and 2 may have died from CRE, or antibiotic-resistant carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. All exposed to it had recently undergone endoscopic procedures. The hospital has contacted the 179 patients and sent them test kits to screen for the infection.
This original article was published for Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.
The procedure was an “ERCP” or “endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.” It is used to unblock the bile ducts or treat pancreatic issues. The endoscope is inserted down the throat of a patient during the procedure. The outbreak wasn’t discovered until last month, when tests on a patient revealed the infection.
The CDC reports that victim of the bacterial infection will experience severe coughing, bladder or lung infections and fever or chills. Outbreaks of the infection have occurred in every state except Idaho, Alaska, and Maine.
CRE is called the “Nightmare Bacteria,” because it can kill up to half the persons infected with it. It was not known until the last few years- as it evolved with the signature antibiotic resistance in hospitals.
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“The superbug family includes Klebsiella and E. coli, which people have naturally in their intestines. But when they spread to other parts of the body, they can wreak havoc.
Some CRE make an enzyme called Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase that destroys those strong antibiotics. The enzyme seems to be a pretty new adaptation; researchers first discovered it in 2001.”
The hospital has removed the instruments that caused the infection, although they say they sterilized them according to the manufacturer’s directions. They have now upgraded their requirements for sterilization.