Last month’s outbreak of a serious bacterial illness has now been fully eradicated, officials of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) revealed today.
And the head of the hospital’s infection control team, Corey Forde, is praising the hospital for the capability of detecting the disease, known as Burkholderia Cepacia Complex.
While outbreaks are commonplace in hospitals around the world, the QEH could boast of having one of the region’s best hospital surveillance systems, and was a regional standard-bearer of best practice, in infection control, he said.
And the hospital has become the Caribbean’s standard-bearer for control and detection of these outbreaks.
“It is not unusual for outbreaks but the most important thing is how it is dealt with. Our surveillance system at the hospitals is top-notch. We are able to identify outbreaks quickly and then act accordingly. We have had recorded outbreaks and we have dealt with them quite well . . . . Many countries in the Caribbean don’t have a surveillance system and we have been assisting some of them in getting theirs in place,” said Forde. He was speaking to journalists after the Pan American Health Organization handed over three Samsung Galaxy Tablets to the QEH this morning.
The QEH confirmed that eight cases of Burkholderia Cepacia Complex were diagnosed in six weeks.
At the time several measures were taken to bring the situation under control, hospital officials had said then.
“There were six cases diagnosed in June, and two in early July, but since the introduction of mitigating measures to arrest the increase in incidences and reduce recurrences, there have been no additional cases of Burkholderia Cepacia complex diagnosed to date,” the hospital’s communications department said.
The bacteria, said to be most harmful to persons suffering with kidney disease or a weakened immune system, are usually found in soil and contaminated water.
Patients diagnosed with the condition were separated from the general population and treated, amid stepped up health surveillance at the hospital, the QEH infection control chief said.
“We have put all measures in place and I can tell you that we have no more cases of that infection for more than a month. It speaks well to the efficiency of our programme at the hospital to find, detect, isolate and put into action strategies that have now allowed for us to have no more strategies. We acted very quickly to a very complicated situation,” he said.
The speed with which the hospital handled the outbreak was testimony to efficiency of the health institution’s counter measures, he declared. (CM)