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‘Deadly bacterial spread’ warned in Chile

(Xinhua)

13:38, April 20, 2012

SANTIAGO, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Doctors in Chile warned on Thursday that the death of 36 patients in the country's hospitals since July 2011 might be attributed to a "deadly bacterial spread" despite the authorities' denying.

Doctors from Chile's Public Assistance Emergency Hospital said Clostridium Difficile bacteria, also known as CDF, was responsible for those deaths since July 2011, when it was first detected.

The doctors claimed that the bacterial outbreak was made public in March in the country, but health authorities had denied it is dangerous or a common case of "intrahospital infection."

The doctors said the bacterium was a threat and held that its spread was due to "mismanagement by health authorities.

Just hours after the doctors' announcement, Chilean lawmakers in the health commission joined them in denouncing the failure of health authorities to act, saying the bacterium had spread to two other hospitals, San Borja Ariaran and San Juan de Dios.

After meeting with the doctors, legislative deputies Juan Luis Castro and Marco Antonio Nunez criticized the authorities for keeping quiet over the nine-month bacterial spread.

The deputies said they had not ruled out closing the initial hospital and demanded the resignation of Chile's public service health authorities.

Last month, Dr. Luis Castillo, a deputy secretary at the Bolivian Health Ministry, admitted there was an outbreak, but denied the disease was fatal.

In May 2011, a CDF outbreak was registered in Ontario, Canada in May 2011, killing 26 hospital patients.

In 2010, in Denmark, 138 people died from the bacterium at four different hospitals.

In 2003 and 2004, the bacterium wreaked havoc in about 30 hospitals in Quebec province in Canada, infecting more than 1,400 patients. Many needed urgent surgery and died within one month of diagnosis.

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