Black Health

The Craziest Type of Disease in 21st Century


Most of us, visit hospitals whenever we are sick with the aim of getting treatment and regaining healthy lives, but this time round, there is this type of disease waiting for you, just in the same hospitals.

In last year October, CDC is worked to investigate the emergency of bloodstream infections that are caused by Burkholderia cepacia, B. cepacia, “complex” bacteria which can be found in water and soil.

The most of these cases have been experienced in patients residing at rehabilitation or long-term care facilities and who were receiving intravenous fluids IV or/and antibiotics via central venous catheters.

By, last November, the number of cases of Burkholderia cepacia had increased to 149 cases across five states, according to a CDC update. Health experts link the infections to pre-filled saline flushes which are manufactured by Nurse Assist (a Fort Worth, medical device manufacturer for long-term care facilities and based in Texas).

Saline flush is usually administered into a vein via an IV. Thus, the B. cepacia infections noticed in this outbreak, are definitely bloodstream infections.


Last October, Nurse Assist announced a voluntary recall of all the prefilled syringes after noting that more than 30 scenarios of B. cepacia were associated with the product. The CDC with support from the ‘Food and Drug Administration’ and the health departments of the following states; Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York and New Jersey — discovered the syringes, used for cleaning out intravenous lines, to be the cause of the outbreak. However, the investigation is ongoing.

Cases have been reported across 58 facilities, and over six of the infected have died.

Although B. cepacia has little risk to healthy individuals, people with weak immune systems may be highly susceptible to extreme respiratory infections resulting from the bacteria. B. cepacia and which are very much resistant to common antibiotics.

Common symptoms experienced with bloodstream infections include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Chills or shivering
  • Fever
  • Clammy or sweaty skin


CDC issued the following measures to control the epidemic:

  • Avoid using any remaining Prefilled Nurse Assist saline flush syringe products.
  • Alert state or local health authorities of any incidences of B. cepacia bloodstream infections found among patients who received intravenous treatment at a facility which was using these products.
  • Report negative reactions or quality problems witnessed with the use of these products to the FDA’s ‘MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.’

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