Superbug outbreak in US research hospital killed 6

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md., scrubbed with bleach, locked down patients and even ripped out plumbing.

In this photo taken Aug. 21, 2012, Dr. Tara Palmore, deputy hospital epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, left, and Dr. Julie Segre, a geneticist with the National Human Genome Research Institute, pose at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. Last year a deadly superbug spread through the nation's leading research hospital, killing six patients before it could be stopped. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md., scrubbed with bleach, locked down patients and even ripped out plumbing. In the end, it took gene detectives analyzing the germ's DNA to trace it to its source. It came from a New York City patient who was admitted for a medical study. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year a deadly superbug spread through the nation's leading research hospital, killing six patients before it could be stopped.

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md., scrubbed with bleach, locked down patients and even ripped out plumbing. In the end, it took gene detectives analyzing the germ's DNA to trace it to its source. It came from a New York City patient who was admitted for a medical study.

Infections like that at health care facilities claim an estimated 99,000 lives a year. No hospital is immune. The NIH on Wednesday published an unusually candid account of its outbreak in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers say the new gene technology may help other hospitals as they struggle to contain the growing threat of superbugs.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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