A premature baby boy who was found to be infected with
Klebsiella bacteria died at Sheba Medical Center, it was reported on
Monday. Born after 26 weeks of gestation, he was one of nine premature babies
identified as carriers or infected in the neonatal intensive care unit at the
Tel Hashomer hospital during the past month. The bacteria were found in his
blood after he died.
As a result of the tragedy, the hospital decided
temporarily to close the unit to other newborn premies and to isolate those
carrying the bacteria from the others who were unaffected.
An additional premature infant was reported clinically to
have been infected but he was in stable condition. Two other babies recovered
and five more were diagnosed as being carriers.
The hospital said that when the first cases were
discovered, it immediately took action by doing lab tests on all infants in the
unit. Efforts were also made to prevent cross-infection. The department is in
ongoing contact with the parents, the hospital said.
Klebsiella is carried in the digestive system and
easily spread by contact. It can cause infection in patients with weak immune
systems, including premature babies, the hospital said. Although it is
developing resistance to antibiotics, there are still antibiotics that can wipe
out the pathogen, and these are being used to treat the newborns, added Sheba,
which informed the Health Ministry.
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