The antibiotic-resistant bacterium known as MRSA is common in health-care settings, but an outbreak at a Pittsburgh hospital is causing concern because it was found in the neonatal intensive care unit—full of newborn babies whose immune systems aren’t fully developed.
Hard-to-treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was confirmed in six babies and six adults at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital NICU, the hospital confirmed this week. The patients were put into isolation, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
The state health department referred calls to the Alleghany County health department, which refused to answer any questions. A spokesman requested that all questions be directed to UPMC, where officials declined to elaborate or answer follow-up questions about the situation.
The statement said that of the six infants who tested positive, only one has symptoms of infection. Several staff members have possible symptoms, the hospital said.