Superbug Outbreak

By: Allison Petkoff

On Wednesday, March 4, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles released that four patients had been infected with an antibiotic-resistant superbug and one had died. The medical center claims that the individual died due to a pre-existing condition and not the microbe. However, two weeks ago, a UCLA hospital encountered seven patients with this bug and two of them died.

The disease is known as CRE or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. The superbug can infect the lungs and the liver. If the case is serious, death is expected in about 50% of the patients.

The hospital is currently trying to figure out how this superbug spread so fast and how to stop the superbug. The hospital believes that the bug was transmitted through a duodenoscope. The duodenoscope can be difficult to be sanitize and “may facilitate the spread of deadly bacteria” according to the FDA and reported by The Washington Post. Medical experts now question why the FDA manufacturers didn’t fix the problem in a more timely fashion considering that they had known about it for a couple of years.

Although the hospital was already at what they believe as peak sanitation, they have stepped up their efforts in light of the superbug. The hospital has sent home test kits to certain patients to diagnose pancreatic and bile-duct problems as a precaution. Ultimately, the hospital believes that other patients are not at risk.