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Infection Control

Hospital stalked by superbug

August 23, 2012
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BETHESDA, MD — From the summer of 2011 until January of this year, the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center battled a superbug that mysterious kept spreading, according to the United Press International.

Infection control specialists believe a New York City patient, who was admitted to the research hospital while participating in a clinical study, was carrying a multidrug-resistant strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae at the time of admission.

Despite isolating the patient upon detection, the bug continued to spread from patient to patient, with the center seeing at least one new case a week.

The center implemented enhanced infection-control practices, which included:

•    Handwashing
•    Masks
•    Gowning medical personnel
•    A nurses only treatment of infected patients
•    Building a wall
•    Using a vapor of hydrogen peroxide to sanitize rooms
•    Removing sinks and drains where Klebsiella pneumoniae had been detected.

The hospital teamed with Julie Segre and other National Human Genome Research Institute researchers to use genome sequencing to learn how the microbe spread.

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