Deadly superbug infected patients at Seattle hospital

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At least 35 patients fell ill and 11 died after contracting a superbug infection at a hospital in Seattle, Washington, according to a new report. The Seattle Times reports that dozens of patients at Virginia Mason Medical Center were infected with a drug-resistant bacteria known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) between 2012 and 2014, a result of contact with contaminated endoscopes.

Hospital and public health officials in Seattle did not disclose to patients and their families the cause of the infection at the time of illness, the paper reports. However, health officials say it remains unclear what role the bacteria had, since most patients who underwent the procedure already were critically ill with colon or pancreatic cancer.

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