The specter of superbugs spreading through U.S. hospitals has public health experts debating how hospitals should deal with such outbreaks. An incident last year in Park Ridge, Ill., may point the way to one approach that could help, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We're not going to win a war with them because they will never stop adapting to what we throw at them,” said Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease specialist at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. “We have to find a way to coexist. We need a plan of action.”
The CDC points to a new report concerning an outbreak of the “nightmare bacteria” at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge as a “very exciting and novel change in how we approach the organism,” both in terms of coordinated regional response and hospital procedures.
“This outbreak came to light because the hospital was doing something a lot of others aren't—testing for mechanisms and regular reporting through their microbiology lab,” said CDC medical officer Dr. Alex Kallen, who was responsible for overseeing the Illinois outbreak.