Romania hospital reports 39 babies diagnosed with superbug

Romanian authorities say the number of babies diagnosed with a drug-resistant superbug at a maternity hospital in the capital has risen to 39.

Raluca Alexandru, spokeswoman for Giulesti Maternity hospital, closed Nov. 30 due to the outbreak, on Monday said tests have confirmed the latest figure. It is triple the number of newborns diagnosed with antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus last month.

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Health Minister Sorina Pintea said she will decide later this week whether to keep the hospital closed. The infants are hospitalized in three children's facilities in Bucharest.

The bacteria often live on the skin or in the nostrils without causing symptoms but they can become dangerous if they enter the bloodstream, destroying heart valves or causing other damage.

Microbiologists say up to 30 percent of humans are long-term carriers.