Latest News from CORHA

A new automated national register-based surveillance system for outbreaks in long-term care facilities in Norway detected three times more severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) clusters than traditional methods (Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology)

A surveillance system for outbreaks in long terms care facilities (LTCFs) was piloted in Norway from January 2020 to December 2021. The system used national registries that included data on LTCF residents, staff, COVID-19 laboratory results, causes of death, and vaccination. Clusters (≥3 residents or staff with positive SARS-CoV-2 test ≤14 days) were detected in 427 (43%) of 993 LTCFs. The authors concluded that automated national surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 clusters in Norway’s LTCFs is possible and has the potential for near real-time outbreak detection.
September 27, 2023 Read More

Cluster of Carbapenemase-Producing Carbapenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Among Patients in an Adult Intensive Care Unit — Idaho, 2021–2022 (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report)

After carbapenemase-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CP-CRPA) was detected in two patients who stayed in the same intensive care unit (ICU) room for about 1 month, a team visited the hospital to investigate, collect environmental samples, and make recommendations. CP-CRPA of the same gene type as both clinical isolates was isolated from swab samples of one sink in the same ICU room. Recommendations included weekly disinfection of all ICU room sink drains and implementation of sink hygiene practices.
August 30, 2023 Read More

Doctor Gets 25 Years in Federal Prison For Fraud, Using Dirty Surgical Devices (Medscape)

Anita Louise Jackson, MD, an ear, nose, and throat doctor in NC, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to repay $4.7 million to Medicare after a federal jury found her guilty of 20 criminal charges. These charges included endangering patients' health by reusing single-use surgical devices, stealing their identities, and defrauding Medicare. She performed nearly 1500 balloon sinuplasty surgeries on more than 900 Medicare patients from 2011 to 2018, however, she only purchased 36 single use devices for the procedures, reusing the devices on large numbers of patients.
August 23, 2023 Read More

Outbreak of NDM-1– and OXA-181–Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Bloodstream Infections in a Neonatal Unit, South Africa (Emerging Infectious Diseases)

Following an increase in carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) bloodstream infections and associated deaths in the neonatal unit of a South African hospital, an outbreak investigation was conducted October 2019-February 2020 and cross-sectional follow-up March 2020-May 2021. Genomic and epidemiologic data was used to reconstruct transmission networks of outbreak-related clones, which allowed for identified 31 cases of culture-confirmed CRKP infection, 14 deaths, and two outbreak-related clones.
August 16, 2023 Read More

Tuberculosis (TB) Disease Associated with Suspected Contaminated Viable Bone Matrix Material Used in Surgical and Dental Procedures (CDC)

CDC is responding to tuberculosis (TB) disease cases associated with viable bone matrix material. The cases appear to be linked to a single product lot used in surgical and dental procedures. Shipments of this product lot were sent to thirteen facilities in seven states (California, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia) between February 27, 2023, and June 20, 2023, and a voluntary recall notice was issued mid-July. 36 people had surgery or dental procedures using product from this lot and are being evaluated and treated.
August 9, 2023 Read More

State is investigating potential exposure to hepatitis, HIV at Coalinga State Hospital (KVPR)

Patients treated in the pain management clinic at Coalinga State Hospital were potentially exposed to hepatitis C and HIV. Several patients of the pain management clinic recently tested positive for hepatitis C. The patients seen at the clinic during a target time window are being tested for hepatitis C as well as HIV. Questions remain for patients and staff regarding the extent of the exposure, who it impacted, and how it happened.
August 2, 2023 Read More

New HIV case linked to ‘vampire facial’ at defunct spa, New Mexico health department says (USA Today)

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) advised customers who received “vampire facials” from a now-defunct spa to get tested following a newly confirmed HIV case. Clients at the spa may have been exposed to blood-borne pathogens if they received “injection-related services,” including a vampire facial or Botox injections. While the salon was shut down in 2018, subsequent testing of past clients allowed the DOH to link two HIV cases back to procedures performed at the spa.
July 26, 2023 Read More

How sequencing, collaboration solved the Pseudomonas outbreak tied to eye drops (CIDRAP)

An outbreak of a rare strain of extensively drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, linked to a brand of eye drops, affected 81 people across 18 states since May 2022 – 14 of them with permanent vision loss. Although the outbreak is technically over, its impact could be felt for years as the P. aeruginosa strain that caused it – a strain not previously seen in the U.S. – is now circulating in U.S. healthcare facilities. The investigation into the outbreak highlighted how whole-genome sequencing, strong epidemiology programs in state health departments, and collaboration between state and federal agencies can help unravel the source of outbreaks that otherwise appear to have no common link.
July 19, 2023 Read More

Epidemiology and genomics of a slow outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA) in a neonatal intensive care unit: Successful chronic decolonization of MRSA-positive healthcare personnel (Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology)

A NICU experienced a’slow and sustained’ MRSA outbreak involving 15 babies and 6 healthcare personnel. Multiple progressive infection prevention interventions were implemented, including contact precautions and cohorting of MRSA-positive babies, hand hygiene observers, enhanced environmental cleaning, screening of babies and staff, and decolonization of carriers. Identifying and decolonizing persistent MRSA carriage among staff was successful in stopping transmission and ending the outbreak.
June 28, 2023 Read More

A cluster of gram-negative bloodstream infections in Connecticut hemodialysis patients associated with contaminated wall boxes and prime buckets (American Journal of Infection Control)

A cluster of Delftia acidovorans infections occurred at a hemodialysis facility due to indirect exposures to contaminated wall boxes and possibly saline prime buckets. D. acidovorans was recovered from a wall box where two patients, who comprised the cluster, had been dialyzed. The outbreak highlighted the importance of proper hand hygiene and daily disinfection of wall boxes to mitigate risk of infection.
June 21, 2023 Read More