An outbreak of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, also known as MRSA, has been occuring during the past several weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Providence Hospital, according to state health officials.
MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics.
The Department of Health & Social Services Division of Public Health said 14 infants have had mild to moderate symptoms, and 17 have had no symptoms, but are carriers. The first case was found at the unit in March.
Providence officials said all patients who screen positive are being treated in a confined area of the NICU. Care givers are wearing protective clothes and changing them often. All new admissions are screened and re-screened weekly.
Dr. Lilly Lou, the medical director of the NICU, said "We still feel very confident that it's fine to admit new patients into our unit and that we continue to provide the same high level of care."
Infections are being treated with antibiotics that work against MRSA, and all NICU health care workers are being screened.