Official: Bacteria forces closure of Puerto Rico hospital intensive care unit

Published September 10, 2013

| Associated Press

Health officials in Puerto Rico have revealed that they recently closed a hospital's intensive care unit following an outbreak of a resistant bacteria strain.

Dr. Haydee Garcia said Tuesday that at least 10 patients at the University of Puerto Rico Hospital in the northern city of Carolina who have since died were carrying the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii.

Garcia is the health department's epidemiology director. She says eight of the patients did not die from a bacterial infection, but it's unclear whether the bacteria caused the deaths of the other two.

Garcia says the deaths occurred between May and July and prompted her to ask the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate.

She blames the presence of the bacteria on poor hygiene at the hospital's intensive care unit.

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