Last updateFri, 22 May 2020 12pm

Superbug kills 2, affects 67 at city hospitals

The Jalisco Health Department (SSJ) has revealed that a bacterial infection detected at 14 public and private hospitals in Guadalajara has affected 67 people, and possibly been the cause of two deaths.

The bacteria has been identified as Leclercia adecarboxylata, which may cause diseases such as bacteraemia or respiratory tract infection.

The two victims have been identified as a 28-week-old infant and an 82-year-old man. Both succumbed at Guadalajara’s Hospital Civil, where the majority of the cases have been noted.

Health authorities say the bacteria originated in a batch of formula used for “total parenteral nutrition” (TPN), a procedure often prescribed to low birth weight preterm infants in order to prevent postnatal growth failure and improve their neuro-developmental outcome.

According to analysis by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), the bacterial infection has been traced to a batch supplied to metro-area hospitals by the firm Centro de Mezclas SAFE, which has since suspended production of the formula.  The company manufactures around 4,800 bags of the nutritional supplement each month, delivering to 40 hospitals in the Guadalajara metropolitan zone.  The solution is applied via intravenous injection.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Ana Gabriela Mena Rodríguez, SSJ chief of epidemiological emergencies, said an alert had been issued to all hospitals in the state that might have administered the solution to any patients between May 13 and 22.

Some 80 percent of those infected by the Leclercia adecarboxylata bacteria are less than one year old.

Hospital Civil Director Jaime Andrade Villanueva said an investigation will determine whether the causes of the two deaths were as a direct result of the bacterial infection or for other underlying health-related reasons.

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