Health News

Resistant bacteria mystery in various hospitals

By Karyn Chenoweth Oct 1, 2007, 15:13 GMT

Resistant bacteria mystery in various hospitals

bacteria REUTERS/CDC/

A drug-resistant strain of bacterium has spread throughout U.S. military hospitals around the world, killing at least 27 since the start of the Iraq war.

Acinetobacter Baumann has appeared in facilities like Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and the Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany -- infecting several soldiers’ and civilians’ bloodstreams, cerebrospinal fluid, bones and lungs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Since 2001, the percentage of admissions caused by the antibiotic-resistant virus has increased from 2 to 12 percent, the LAT said.

Acinetobacter Baumann was once controlled by antibiotics, but due to misuse and overuse of the drugs, it has become increasingly resistant over the last few decades.

After a 2003 outbreak aboard the U.S. hospital ship Comfort in the Persian Gulf, researchers struggled to find the source of the outbreak, the Times reported.

In May, a group of researchers narrowed the source of the infection down to field hospitals in Iraq and Kuwait.  Not everyone in the medical field is in agreement about this fact, however.

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