Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez said the bacterial infection outbreak at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) that killed two babies and infected six others has been contained and no new infections have been reported.
Today, Ministry of Health officials will reveal the preliminary findings from their investigations during a news conference.
Dr. Gomez said doctors are working around the clock to monitor the condition of the surviving infants infected with the Acinetobacter Baumannii.
“The outbreak investigation is continuing, the babies who are left are well and are on treatment,” he said. “There has been no further increase in cases. There have been no new cases for more than a week now and we hope that with the attempts we have made that remains the situation.”
Last Friday, Public Hospital Authority (PHA) officials announced that the investigation was launched after the eight babies contracted the infection on PMH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Dr. Gomez explained that the infection is a waterbourne illness that is common to hospital and related institutions.
“It’s a water-loving organism and so it’s associated with water and dampness,” he explained. “You may isolate it from ventilators or air-conditioning vents and tubing or anywhere there is moisture.
“It’s a hospital organism, so it’s something that falls under the category of what’s called nosocomial infections, that’s hospital acquired infections and that’s an issue in hospitals all around the world.”
According to reports, the bacterium is a species of pathogenic bacteria, referred to as an aerobic gram-negative bacterium that is resistant to most antibiotics.
The illness can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and other parts of the body.
“This not only happens in the NICU, but in any intensive care unit (ICU) Dr. Gomez said. “Because of the association with water, once you require a ventilator then you are using moist air. So it’s an organism that’s found in intensive care units throughout the world.”
Hospital officials are expected to hold a news conference at PMH at 4:00 p.m. today.