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Mayor of Newark calls for changes after deadly bacterial epidemic



NEWARK –

Newark mayor Ras Baraka calls for a redesign of the university hospital after a bacterial epidemic that killed three infants.

State officials are investigating.

In total, four infants contracted the bacterial infection called "A. baumannii". since September.

Two of these children died last week and one in September, according to state officials. The fourth came out of the hospital.

In each of these cases, babies are born prematurely.

State health officials were informed of the outbreak on October 1 and have been investigating since.

In October, they discovered several major problems of infection control, including general cleanliness and lack of intervention to prevent the transmission of bacteria.

Baraka is asking for a new board of directors, new emergency rooms and more outpatient clinics.

"The hospital plays a central role in providing health care to the people of Newark and I am very concerned about the quality of its care," Baraka said.

When the outbreak was discovered, Governor Phil Murphy appointed a monitor for the hospital.

State officials said Tuesday that they were trying to determine how the hospital reported deaths during an ongoing epidemic. They say that Monday, the hospital infection control program was not aware of these deaths.


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