Aug 13, 2019

The Desperate Race to Neutralize a Lethal Superbug Yeast

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Last September, an American traveling in Kenya suffered a serious stroke, and was hospitalized there for a month. The stay didn’t go well: The person suffered a bout of pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, and a brush with sepsis, a life-threatening immune reaction to infection.

Maryn McKenna (@marynmck) is an Ideas contributor for WIRED, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and the author of Big Chicken.

Eventually the traveler’s condition stabilized enough to be brought home, to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Maryland. Because they had been in that foreign hospital for so long, the US institution decided to be extra careful. It put the patient (who hasn’t been named publicly, to respect medical privacy) into an isolation room and required that everyone on the treatment team wear a gown and gloves. After consulting the state health department, the hospital also decided to check the patient for any superbugs that might have been picked up overseas.

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