Wisconsin – There’s a new case of what appears to be a rare bacterial infection called Elizabethkingia, diagnosed in a newborn at a children’s hospital in Wisconsin. This outbreak has infected 61 people in three states, from of which 20 have died.
The blood sample is still to be tested to confirm whether the child is infected with the bacteria that have been infecting people in Wisconsin mostly, but also in Michigan and Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“There is no indication of serious infection in that child and the patient’s family is aware,” sais hospitals officials in a statement. “A sample of the organism has been provided to the State Health Department and CDC,” they added.
Statewide the Department of Health Services has alerted health care workers, infection preventionist and laboratories from the Elizabethkingia bacteria and provided them with the information and guidance required to overturn this outbreak. After the guidelines were sent, there have been a rapid identification of the bacteria and treatment have been provided to improve outcomes for patients.
— APIC (@APIC) April 27, 2016
However, the CDC along with local health department are still looking the source of the bacteria, but is still unknown the possible source of the outbreak, according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.
What is the Elizabethkingia bacteria?
According to the CDC, is a common organism in the environment, which includes water and soil. It is rarely to cause infections in humans and can affect people with compromised immune system or serious underlying health conditions, like the elderly who have been tested positive.
— CDC NCEZID (@CDC_NCEZID) April 29, 2016
The first notified cases were between December 29 of last year and January 4, 2016. Health officials then communicated the presence of the bacteria around the state. After the word got out, cases began to grow with one tested positive from November 2015.
The bacteria is named from its discoverer, Elizabeth King, a bacteriologist who studied it in 1959. It is been re-classified twice and was renamed after her in 2005, according to NBC News.
Source: ABC News