GILLETTE, WY – Campbell County Health (CCMH) has received the results of an epidemiological survey of the hospital and the community, initiated after three patients were admitted to the hospital with severe group A streptococcus infection in August and September 2012. One of these three cases died as a result of the Streptococcus infection.
CCMH personnel, in conjunction with state and local public health officials, as well as outside experts in the field of Infectious disease, coordinated and conducted an extensive survey of the hospital, Gillette and select surrounding areas. Samples were collected from patients, employees and community members and from surfaces such as counters, walls and floors at those various locations. Laboratory testing showed that of these three severe group A streptococcus cases, cultures from two of the cases revealed an aggressive strain of bacteria called emm59, not previously identified in Wyoming. This strain is known to have caused life-threatening Group A streptococcus infections in Canada and Montana.
The results also showed no emm59 Group A streptococcus strains on any CCMH surfaces or CCMH staff. Similarly, no emm59 strains were found on surfaces or among individuals living in the same locale as the initial cases.
CCMH also conducted an internal review regarding the notification and communication processes involved when the subject of severe Group A strep became a public topic. This review resulted in the development of a more structured notification and communication process when CCMH addresses public concerns over local health issues.
CCMH continues to conduct routine passive surveillance of the community, looking for any possible additional occurrences of the emm59 strain.
“As a community healthcare provider, we must always strive to protect the health and safety of our patients and provide relevant information to the community about public health issues”, said Interim CEO Andy Fitzgerald. “We feel confident in the results of the survey and our ongoing processes to ensure patient safety.”
Manager Community Relations