For the last month, Panama’s Social Security Hospital (CSS) is experiencing an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) infections among its patients. On Tuesday, August 4, six patients died from the infection, which was later tested to be KPC. Since then, the death toll has been rising every day and is now up to 50 with 71 patients infected.
KPC-producing bacteria are typically found in nosocomial infections (hospital-related infections) and they are resistant to many antibiotics. KPC bacteria are a particularly dangerous with a high mortality rate as well as limited treatment options among those who are infected. Health officials are trying to control the outbreak by isolating patients and not allowing the transfer or movement of any patients that are KPC-infected or that have open cuts.