Rare Drug-Resistant Infection Found in Laramie County Patient
A Laramie County resident is being treated for a rare antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC).
According to a Jan. 9 press release from Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), recent tests indicate the patient is infected by a rare enterobacteriaceae containing an antibiotic gene that does not respond to traditional antibiotic treatment.
State health officer and WDH epidemiologist, Dr. Alexia Harrist, said this type of infection is quite rare and potentially serious.
“When bacteria become antibiotic-resistant, then certain categories of antibiotic medicines will not work to kill the bacteria to treat an infection,” she said in the release. “In this case, the organism found is resistant to a category of antibiotics sometimes described as ‘last resort’ medications used to fight infections. The gene found with this patient has been identified in only a handful of states over the past few years.”
It does not appear the infection was acquired at the hospital, according to the release, but they are taking strict precautions and requiring anyone entering the patient’s room to wear protective gloves and clothing.
Harrist said they are working with CRMC to follow up on the hospital’s infection control measures.
There is no risk to the public, Harrist asserted.
“We all want to be extremely cautious. Together with hospital staff, we will review potential exposures to the organism and work to test anyone found to be at risk,” she said. “While antibiotic resistance is a growing overall problem for public health, there should be no concern for local residents because of this incident.”
A second test by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention network laboratory confirmed the diagnosis.
“Wyoming’s hospital testing guidelines and public health surveillance system are meant to discover these rare organisms so the hospital and public health can work quickly to limit spread as much as possible,” Harrist added.
More information about antibiotic-resistant infections can be found online.