PRO/EDR> Klebsiella pneumoniae – USA (03): (WA) nosocomial, MDR, fatal, RFI


A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases

[1] Date: Thu 8 Jun 2023 15:13 EDT
Source: USA Today [edited]

A hospital in Seattle has confirmed 2 more deaths in connection to a
bacterial outbreak that began last year [2022].

Beginning in October 2022, hospital staff at Virginia Mason Medical
Center said it detected an increase in cases of Klebsiella
bacteria at its downtown campus. Since then, nearly a
dozen people have died after contracting the bacteria strain.

The infected patients, who contracted Klebsiella, were hospitalized
in various departments, including in inpatient medical beds, an
intensive care unit, and an operating room, the hospital said in a

“While the risk of transmission is extremely low for patients, we
continue to take proactive steps to avoid additional transmission,
including conducting environmental sampling, updating facility
infrastructure, and reviewing cleaning and infection prevention
practices,” the release states.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a type of bacteria that lives naturally in
our environment, per the hospital. They are normally found in the
human intestines — where they do not cause disease — as well as in
human feces.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
Klebsiella pneumoniae infections commonly occur among sick or
immunocompromised patients receiving treatment for other conditions.
Patients whose care requires devices like ventilators or intravenous
catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain
antibiotics are most at risk of infection.

Klebsiella pneumoniae can cause different types of
healthcare-associated infections, including pneumonia, bloodstream
infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis, the CDC
states. Health officials said infections commonly occur among sick or
immunocompromised patients who are receiving treatment for other

Most people who contract it will never experience an infection, but
occasionally Klebsiella pneumoniae can lead to urinary tract
infections and other complications.

To date, 33 people have been confirmed to be infected with the strain
of bacteria. The 2 latest deaths bring the overall total to 9 since
the start of the outbreak.

Virginia Mason Medical Center said in the statement it is “difficult
to determine whether Klebsiella pneumoniae caused or contributed” to
the deaths since some patients’ conditions were complex.

[Byline: Gabe Hauari]

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