Babies test positive for deadly infection

NASSAU — Eight babies have tested positive and two of them have died as a result of an infection in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Princess Margaret Hospital, the Public Hospitals Authority announced yesterday.

The bacterium is known as Acinetobacter Baumannii.

All babies in the unit have been tested for the infection, the PHA said in a statement.

“The infection is now contained and measures are in place to prevent further infections,” the statement said.

“The remaining six babies who tested positive for Acinetobacter are well and are on antibiotic treatment.”

Acinetobacter Baumannii bacteria are known to occur in hospitals worldwide where infants have immature immune systems or not fully developed immune systems due to prematurity, the PHA said.

Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez admitted yesterday that more could have been done faster to address this problem.

Asked whether he thought the outbreak was properly handled, Gomez said: “No, I’m not because the ministry should have been notified a long time ago by the institution.”

Gomez said the first case was detected three to four weeks ago.

Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, asked questions in the House of Assembly about the outbreak on Wednesday.

Minnis said yesterday it is obvious his questions triggered the release of the PHA statement.

But Gomez said the report into the investigation was received after Parliament met, which is why the press statement was only sent yesterday. (Nassau Guardian)

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