County health officials want to know why 10 infants tested positive for a dangerous bacteria during treatment at a neonatal intensive care unit at the University of California Medical Center. The 10 infants tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). All the cases occurred between August 2016 and March 2017.
All the infants were treated and thankfully, they all lived. But how in the world did this happen in a “sterile area” called the NICU?
Two our of every ten people are said to carry the naturally occurring MRSA bacteria. Typically, it is found on the skin or inside of the nose, according to the CDC. In a healthcare unit, the bacteria would most likely travel from contaminated wounds via healthcare workers.
In February, the World Health Organization declared MRSA one of the 12 families of bacteria that “pose the greatest threat to human health,” calling for efforts to urgently produce new antibiotics that can rid patients of the so-called superbugs.
“Antibiotic resistance is growing, and we are fast running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time,” Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation said in a statement.
The hospital has been unable to locate the source of the bacteria. They also released a statement claiming they’ve ‘repeated deep cleaning’ and emphasized ‘hand cleaning.’