L.A. County Patient’s Death Was Caused by Superbug

Health officials have announced the first known case of a specific superbug infection in California after discovering that a woman who died last year in Los Angeles County had been infected with a drug-resistant strain of E. Coli. Tuesday’s announcement places California on a list of six states where the mcr-1 gene has been found. It is part and parcel of the terrifying yet growing medical phenomenon of drug-resistant bacteria in the United States.

Los Angeles County recently changed its reporting requirements for superbug infections in anticipation of a case like this one. California lawmakers are hoping to do the same. As we reported last year, some two dozen states already require hospitals to report superbugs but California isn’t one of them, despite the estimated 75,000 deaths that result from hospital-acquired infections each year.

A Manhattan Beach resident also died after contracting the superbug CRE after a surgery in May 2014. Her daughter had attempted to alert county health officials, but was told CRE was not reportable.

Read more about the latest superbug case out of L.A. County here.


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