“Superbug” Outbreak at UCLA Medical Center

February 27, 2015 7:26 PM

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A recent outbreak of the “superbug”, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has resulted in seven confirmed infections and two deaths [2]. The source of the outbreak was found to be two of the hospital’s seven Olympus Corp. duodenoscopes that were used between October 3 and January 28 [2]. A total of 179 patients have been exposed [1,2]. The UCLA Medical Center is providing these individuals with free, at-home screening tests to determine if they are infected with the CRE bacteria as a result of their exposure [2].

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae bacteria are part of a family of bacteria commonly found in the colon. Over time, some of these gut-dwelling pathogens have developed high-resistance against many widely used antibiotics. These bacteria contain an enzyme that breaks down carbapenem antibiotics...

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