Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 12th 2013 Contents A54
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SAN JUAN---A Puerto Rican hospi-
tal s intensive care unit was recently
closed following an outbreak of a
resistant bacteria strain, health offi-
cials revealed Tuesday.
At least ten patients at the Univer-
sity of Puerto Rico Hospital in the
northern city of Carolina who have
since died were carrying the bacteria
Acinetobacter baumannii, said Dr
Haydee Garcia, epidemiology director
of the island s health department.
She said eight of the patients did
not die from the bacterial infection,
but it s unclear whether the bacteria
caused the deaths of the other two.
The deaths occurred between May
and July and prompted Garcia to ask
the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention to investigate.
"When this bacteria appears, it s a
concern," she said. "It s not normal
for humans to carry that bacteria."
Garcia blamed the presence of the
bacteria on poor hygiene, saying an
investigation found that medical per-
sonnel were not following basic pro-
cedures such as frequently washing
The bacteria usually occurs in inten-
sive care units and is responsible for
some 80 per cent of reported infec-
tions, according to the CDC Web site.
It is unclear how many deaths the
bacteria might have caused in Puerto
Rico compared to the US mainland.
CDC spokesman Melissa Dankel
said those statistics were not avail-
Dankel referred other questions
about the outbreak to Garcia, noting
that the CDC was invited to inves-
tigate. Garcia said the intensive care
unit, which is being remodeled, has
since tested negative for the bacteria.
SAN JUAN---Four men from St
Vincent & the Grenadines were
rescued at sea Monday after drift-
disabled powerboat, the US Coast
In a statement, the Coast Guard
said the four men had apparently
been travelling in late August from
a tiny Grenadines island to the coun-
try s main island of St Vincent to
pick up supplies when the outboard
engine died on their 30-foot boat.
Some 12 days later, the Coast
Guard and a St Vincent-flagged
freighter rescued them in rough
waters south of Puerto Rico.
They appeared to be in good
health and were given blue Guard
coveralls to wear and a hot meal.
"Knowing that the persons
onboard the distressed vessel had
been adrift for two weeks, the crew
made sure they had clean clothes,
blankets and a hot meal," said Lt
Nolan Cain, commanding officer of
the Coast Guard cutter Farallon. (AP)
Bacteria force hospital
unit closure in Puerto Rico
Violent crime spike worries
Jamaica security chief
KINGSTON---Jamaica s national secu-
rity minister says a worrying spike in
violent crime is threatening the steady
progress made in reducing the island s
high homicide rate.
Peter Bunting told lawmakers Tuesday
that there were 251 homicides between
June 30 and August 31.
That s an average of four a day for an
island of 2.7 million people, compared
to an average of 2.9 a day during the
first half of the year.
Bunting says there were 197 homicides
during the same two-month period last
He says the rise "is threatening the
gains which have been made over the
last three years."
In 2009, Jamaica had the world s third
highest homicide rate, at 63 per 100,000
people. By last year, the rate had fallen
to roughly 40 per 100,000. (AP)
Four St Vincent men rescued after adrift for 12 days
This photo made available by the US Coast Guard shows four men the US Coast Guard said they rescued
after 12 days adrift in the Caribbean Sea. AP PHOTO
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