“Superbug” bacteria resistant to all known efforts to kill it off has infested L.A. County medical facilities. No, Charlie Sheen doesn't have it yet.
And while L.A. County Public Health officials have been resistant to our own calls to confirm this story, they could not stop our own journalistic infection:
While county health flacks were preparing to hold a press conference to tell us what we already know (awesome job, guys — way to earn that six-figure public salary, really), Dr. Dawn Terashita, a county Public Health epidemiologist, confirmed to the Weekly that 356 cases of resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) were recently tallied in L.A. via lab tests.
Dr. Brad Spellberg, infectious disease expert at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance, told the Daily Breeze, which broke the story:
It has killed patients here, for sure. This is scary stuff. It cannot be treated with any antibiotic that we know of.
(Yeah, just what you needed, more stuff to worry about).
Most of the cases were found in elderly patients at nursing facilities, according to the paper.
A few patients at Torrance Memorial Medical Center were also hit.
Turns out the Breeze jumped the gun in order to, you know, let you know that a frigging superbug is on the attack in L.A!
The findings of Terashita's analysis were to be presented at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America's conference April 1-4 in Dallas. The society imposed an April 3 embargo on the study, but the Daily Breeze and other news organizations have decided to publish the results because of the public health concerns involved.
Yeah, take your embargo and shove it. (Take note, publicists: Reporters hate embargoes. They're retarded. Release the info, or don't. Don't tell us when we can and can't publish something. As you see, it doesn't work. We don't tell you not to take off at 3 p.m. on Fridays).
The bug, of course, is apparently from the dirty East Coast.
Worst-case scenario? About 90,000 people die from it a year.
So thanks for putting the people's right to know ahead of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America's conference, L.A. County Public Health.
(And, way to go, Daily Breeze).