Skip to main content

Bacteria cause rash of baby deaths in Brazilian hospital

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • 11 babies have died in the past 40 days, state media reported Monday
  • The outbreak is blamed on three bacteria: Klebsiella, Serratia and Staphylococcus
  • The deaths have occurred at a public hospital in the nation's capital

(CNN) -- A surge of three bacteria at a public hospital's neonatal intensive care unit in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, has killed 11 babies in 40 days, state media said Monday.

The outbreak at the Hospital Regional da Asa Sul has led to six babies being isolated and another 24 kept under observation, the official Agencia Brasil news outlet reported.

Medical officials are taking three steps to combat the deadly outbreak at the Hospital Regional da Asa Sul, said Alberto Henrique Barbosa, the facility's neonatal intensive care director. Hospital authorities will: reduce the number of children admitted, amplify the use of hospital equipment and increase the number of personnel working each shift.

"People believe the outbreak has diminished," Barbosa said. "Now, how long will that take to occur? We don't have definite data."

The bacteria have been identified as Klebsiella, Serratia and Staphylococcus, Agencia Brasil said.

Barbosa said there is no infection by the superbacteria known as Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase.

"Up to now, we have not had a case of this superbacteria, thank God," he said.

A public hospital in Brasilia registered a case of the superbacteria infection in January, Agencia Brasil said. Health authorities suspect more than 100 people in Brasilia have been infected with it.