FHI: Bacterial outbreaks detected at several Norwegian hospitals

University Hospital of Northern NorwayPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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There is an ongoing bacterial outbreak in ten Norwegian hospitals. The bacterium in question killed three corona patients at the University Hospital of Northern Norway (UNN) in November. 

The bacterium is called pseudomonas aeruginosa. It was detected at the University Hospital of Northern Norway in November when three corona patients died of blood poisoning with identical bacterial strains.

Eleven cases have been detected at hospitals in the Northern Norway Regional Health Authority’s region. The infection has also been confirmed in 15 cases in the Southern and Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority’s region. Three cases have also been detected in the Central Norway Regional Health Authority’s region.

“There is no definite connection between most patients who have been diagnosed with this bacterium, and further investigations are underway,” the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) noted.

Rarely dangerous for healthy people

The FHI points out that the bacterium rarely causes disease in healthy people but that it can cause serious infection in intensive care patients and patients with weakened immune systems.

The outbreak at the UNN in Tromsø led to the hospital screening all patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit.

“Due to this, we could detect new cases early and start antibiotic treatment. The internal infection tracing has so far not found a reliable source of infection. Still, we have strengthened the infection control routines, which were initially good,” Haakon Lindekleiv, medical director at the hospital, told the newspaper Nordlys in December.

Three intensive care patients died

The three patients who died in early November were treated intensively for COVID-19 but died of sepsis and acute circulatory failure due to bacterial infection with the bacterium.

The bacterium is very resistant to antibiotics and is not infrequently the cause of nosocomial infections.

“The bacterium can be dangerous for very sick patients. The hospitals have good infection control routines. Patients and relatives who are going to our hospitals can be sure that we take the situation very seriously,” Geir Tollåli at the Northern Norway Regional Health Authority stated in December.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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