Klebsiella scare as two KZN infants die

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Health officials in KwaZulu-Natal will today confirm whether or not the two babies that died at Umlazi's Prince Mshiyeni Hospital were the victims of the deadly klebsiella bacteria.

The two babies, born at 28 and 30 weeks, died on Friday.

Five months ago five babies died in the same ward, while two more were infected with the klebsiella bacteria.

Health department spokesman Leon Mbangwa said there was no need to panic at this stage and that the neonatal unit, where the babies died, had not been quarantined.

"The doctors on duty followed the normal procedure in suggesting klebsiella might be the cause of death," Mbangwa said. "At this stage the babies are only suspected of having died of klebsiella.

"Members of our infections control department have conducted tests at the nursery. We will know the actual results today."

Mbangwa said the standard procedures were followed and the mothers of the children were given the necessary counselling.

Klebsiella is commonly found in the intestines and can cause a number of infections, such as pneumonia, urinary track infections and wound sepsis.

If the bacteria get into the bloodstream the results could be fatal.