Strep Outbreak at Montco Nursing Home

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the weekly report that they have published, stated for this week’s report that a nursing home in Montgomery County apparently had an outbreak of an invasive group A Streptococcus. This is a serious, life-threatening bacterial infection that the CDC has referred to as one of the most prolonged as well as one of the largest types of outbreaks to ever happen in a nursing facility.

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the center stated that for the time duration for Oct. 12, 2009 and Sept. 22, 2010, approximately 13 of the patients of the facility had acquired the invasive strep, and 2 have died. 10 other residents have acquired the noninvasive strep infections.

The report, which was authored by public health authorities together with representatives of the state and health departments of Montgomery County, came to the conclusion that long-term care facilities ought to examine single cases of strep infection, especially the invasive ones, and make certain that procedures for good infection-control are implemented.

The report further stated that the said facility had deficiencies in multiple infection prevention which included ineffective personnel hand hygiene procedures. That reason, along with vulnerable residents and the possible introduction of strep via more than a single source, added to the extensive outbreak.

Group A strep is a very common bacterium that more often than not brings about fairly mild illnesses which includes strep throat or a skin infection known as impetigo. The invasive type goes past the usual surface infections and escalates up into the lungs, the muscles, or blood. In more severe cases, it can lead to toxic shock syndrome as well as the supposed flesh-eating disease termed as necrotizing fasciitis.

The report did not reveal the name of the said nursing facility, although it did talk about it as having 150 beds and that has specialized on weaning from the ventilator, short-term rehabilitation, and care of spinal cord injury. The state, along with the health departments of Montgomery County, also decided not to name the said facility.

Administrator Rhea Goodwin, of AristaCare at Meadow Springs in Plymouth Meeting, the sole nursing establishment in Montgomery County that very much fits the description that was cited in the report, validated that her facility did go through a strep outbreak. She also stated that AristaCare was only one out of seven specialized rehabilitation nursing establishments in Pennsylvania and who provides care for a number of the most acute and complicated medical nursing home residents in the state.

She went on to say that there was no direct connection between the deaths of two of her facility’s patients and the bacteria.

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