Bacteria infected 10 infants at UC Irvine hospital, but the public is just finding out
THURSDAY APR. 13, 2017
Over the course of eight months, a lethal bacteria infected 10 already critically ill infants in UC Irvine Medical Centerís neonatal intensive care unit Ė an outbreak that the public is only finding out about now.
Yet UCI doctors have not found the source of the infections Ė which continued even after 220 employees used antiseptic soap and ointment to eliminate bacteria on their skin and in their noses.
Orange County health officials have known about the continuing hospital-acquired infections since the middle of December, when lab tests confirmed that five infants had been infected by the same strain of a superbug.
That month, two more babies were sickened. Another tested positive in late February, and two more in March.
County officials said they did not notify the public about the outbreak because they had no evidence that infants being treated at UCIís neonatal unit were at higher risk than infants admitted elsewhere.
UCI officials say they did not believe it was necessary to notify families preparing to have labor and deliveries at the hospital of the ongoing outbreak. They said they had isolated the infected patients in one of the hospitalís two intensive care units for infants. New patients are now only accepted into the other unit, they said...