Seattle (Agencies): Four patients at a downtown Seattle hospital are dead in connection to an outbreak of a bacteria often found in health care settings that has developed resistance to some antibiotics.
The infected patients, who contracted Klebsiella, were hospitalized in various departments, including inpatient medical beds, an ICU, and an operating room at Virginia Mason Medical Center, the hospital said in a statement released Wednesday.
Beginning in October 2022, hospital staff said it detected an increase in cases of Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria at its downtown campus.
So far there have been 31 confirmed infections associated with strain, officials said, and the source of transmission remained under investigation Wednesday.
Officials said the latest known confirmed case was identified on April 3.
The four who died after contracting the bacteria already had complex diagnoses when they arrived at the hospital, so it’s unclear how Klebsiella contributed to their deaths, the hospital said.
- What is Klebsiella pneumoniae?
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a type of bacteria that lives naturally in our environment and can be part of the normal bacteria that lives in a healthy digestive system.
Health officials said infections commonly occur among sick or immunocompromised patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions.
Most people who contract it will never experience an infection, but occasionally Klebsiella pneumoniae can lead to urinary tract infections and other complications.