The Greenville Health System in Greenville, SC has reported three deaths and a total of fifteen people infected with an infection to which surgical patients were exposed. GHS says the infections are caused by an atypical mycobacterium. The hospital along with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control are working to identify the source of the infection, however they believe it is related to a piece of equipment which has been removed from use.
The hospital has said that this infection is not contagious to others, but there could be more undiscovered cases. In its statement GHS said, “Because of the organism’s long incubation period of as much as 60 days, some of the GHS patients did not show signs of infection until months after their surgeries. The first-recognized patient tested positive in March 2014. Patients who tested positive are being notified.”