The bacteria are found naturally in the environment but can be dangerous or even deadly for people with weakened immune systems. It can produce infections of the blood, pneumonia and infections following surgery. The source of the outbreak is not yet known. Water samples at a station near the hospital were clear and showed no signs of the bacteria. The neonatal intensive care unit was temporarily shut down Tuesday. Nine babies were being transferred at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington “out of an abundance of caution.” The hospital stopped admitting neonatal patients. Emergency measures were adopted. It is known that chlorine usually kills bacteria in water pipes.
Prince George’s Hospital Center has the only Level 3 NICU in Southern Maryland, according to the hospital’s website. NICUs designated as Level 3 can provide continuous life support for “extremely high-risk newborns and those with complex and critical illnesses.