MRSA outbreak in St. John's hospital infects 7 babies

Seven newborn babies at Saint John's Riverside Hospital have been infected with the drug-resistant MRSA, hospital officials say. Doctors at the hospital are trying to determine where the strain of the

News 12 Staff

Oct 29, 2008, 12:15 AM

Updated 5,680 days ago

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MRSA outbreak in St. John's hospital infects 7 babies
Seven newborn babies at Saint John's Riverside Hospital have been infected with the drug-resistant MRSA, hospital officials say.
Doctors at the hospital are trying to determine where the strain of the bacteria originated. They admit it is highly rare to see seven MRSA cases in a nursery, but say there is no cause for panic.
?At this time, I'm not aware of any serious illnesses that have arisen in these seven patients,? says Infectious Disease Chief Peter Berkey.
Berkey adds that the infected children do not have fatal cases of MRSA and are being effectively treated with antibiotics.
Although doctors have yet to establish whether the infection was introduced from outside the hospital or came from within, they are taking strict precautions.
?We've been in touch with the New York State Department of Health, we've actively done a thorough cleaning of the unit,? says Dr. Joy McCarthy, of St. John?s hospital.
Every staffer who works on the third floor, where the nursery is located, was required to give cultures that will be checked for infection.
MRSA is also known as a Superbug because of its resistance to most antibiotics. It is spread by contact and has immediately noticeable symptoms, such as the appearance of small red bumps or boils. The seven infants however, were treated for minor rashes.
?I think there is a misunderstanding in the community,? Berkey says. ?When they hear MRSA, they think it?s life threatening ? in many cases, it?s not.?
Doctors say the best way to prevent the spread of MRSA and other bacteria is to wash hands regularly with alcohol-based sanitizer.
For an interview with a doctor about the seven MRSA cases at St. John's hospital, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Channel 612.


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