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Superbug Hits UCLA Medical Center

Two Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center patients died after being infected by the deadly "Superbug" virus. ATVN's Pierce Larsen reports.

Doctor's at the UCLA Medical Center are responding to the spreading of the infectious bacteria commonly known as the "Superbug" that has plagued their hospital.

The bug is a form of CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), which infiltrates the body in a family of germs and is extremely difficult to treat due to the high resistance to antibiotics.

UCLA told the public they had discovered the outbreak in late January while running routine tests on a patient. The hospital did not begin notifying patients who were infected from October to January however until this week. 179 patients were notified of the potential risk, along with other family members who were around the disease.

“While this outbreak in itself is not a threat to the public by itself, CRE bacteria are an emerging threat to the people of Los Angeles,” Dr. Zachary Rubin of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said.

The spreading of the disease was said to be caused by a lack of thorough cleaning of endoscopes used by the medical staff to treat gallstones, cancers, and other digestive system infections. Annually, the scopes are inserted into nearly 500,000 patients who are seeking treatment.

UCLA is offering free medical examinations as well as providing take-home testing kits for people who believe they may have been infected. 

“We need to reserve some time to communicate with the issue and be able to have a thoughtful response with them as to why this occurred,” said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. “We are figuring out what our next steps are.”


who are the patients perhaps they have infected others in other parts of the country

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