Bacterium Found at Prince George’s Hospital Center, Not NICU

The bacterium pseudomonas has been detected again at the Prince George’s Hospital Center, but it was not in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Three babies in the NICU tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause a potentially deadly infection. Hospital officials said on Aug. 10, the infants were “clinically asymptomatic for any active infection with the bacterium.”

Nine infants were moved out of Prince George’s Hospital Center to Children’s National Medical System in Washington, D.C.

Prince George’s Hospital Center has been testing the water since the initial reports and revealed pseudomonas in a patient care area outside the NICU. No additional patients have been detected with the bacteria.

The hospital has added new disinfection and treatment procedures for the water as well as a long-term water monitoring plan. They are also planning to transfer current high-risk pregnancies to other hospitals for delivery.

Pseudomonas bacteria often can be transmitted through water, hospital officials said.

Pseudomonas infections can cause ear infections, skin rashes and mild illnesses in healthy people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the infections can cause severe illness or death in people with weakened immune systems, the CDC said. About 400 deaths per year are attributed to drug-resistant pseudomonas infections, the CDC said in a 2013 report.

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