UCLA says more than 100 may have encountered ‘superbug’

An image of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, also known as CRE. (Credit: CDC)

An image of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, also known as CRE. (Credit: CDC)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA says seven people were infected and nearly 200 exposed to a potentially deadly, drug-resistant “superbug” on contaminated medical instruments — and the bacteria may have contributed to two deaths.

Other outbreaks caused by CRE bacteria have been reported in hospitals around the country. Some of the bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics, and experts say they can contribute to death in up to half of those infected.

UCLA said Wednesday that a total of 179 patients may have been infected during endoscopic procedures at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center between October and January.

Patients are being sent home-testing kits.

UCLA says the patients were examined with endoscopes that were sterilized according to manufacturers’ directions. But two devices were infected with CRE anyway. Spokeswoman Dale Tate says those devices have been removed and decontamination procedures upgraded.

 

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