Thanks to H5N1 Pandemic Information News for the link to this May 18 report in the Edmonton Journal: Traveller brought deadly infection to Edmonton hospital, health officials suspect.
EDMONTON - Health officials suspect a Royal Alexandra Hospital patient died after picking up antibiotic-resistant bacteria brought to Edmonton by an infected traveller.
After the infection was discovered, Alberta Health Services closed various Royal Alex wards to new patients, screened more than 300 patients who might have been exposed and identified seven with confirmed or suspected antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Dr. Mark Joffe, senior medical director in charge of infection, prevention and control for the provincial health authority, said he suspects there is a link between the unidentified patient who died and a woman who travelled to the Indian subcontinent, where she was injured and required surgery.
Five to six weeks after her return to Edmonton, she went to the Royal Alex with an infection at the surgical site. She was not immediately isolated, as is the protocol, but spent about three days receiving treatment before it was determined she had two types of bacteria. One, called acinetobacter, has occasionally infected Albertans before.
The other bacterium carries genes called New Delhi metallobetalactamase, or NDM, which are resistant to multiple antibiotics. Alberta has had only one confirmed case about one year ago.
The female patient at the Royal Alexandra had two different strains of NDM.
Following that discovery, various hospital units were closed to additional admissions — one remains so — and more than 300 patients from five units were tested for various antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Two people were confirmed to have acinetobacter and two more have the bacteria that contain NDM.
Two others, including the patient who died in the last 10 days after an infection post-surgery, are still being investigated to determine whether they are linked to the spread in the hospital.