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More than 100 UCLA Medical Center patients may have been infected by 'superbug'

UCLA Medical Center
Mel/Getty Images

More than 100 patients may have been infected by a "superbug" bacteria at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, which may have contributed to two deaths. So far, seven patients have been confirmed as infected, according to a release from the UCLA Health System.

The patients would have been infected between October 2014 and January 2015 by scopes during what the university described as "complex endoscopic procedures."

The scopes had been sterilized using the standards given by the manufacturer, according to the hospital system, but a "superbug" bacteria, the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), may have been transmitted to patients. The scopes are used to diagnose and treat pancreaticobiliary diseases.

The two scopes have since been removed and UCLA says they are increasing their decontamination process above both the manufacturer's standards and national standards.

The potentially infected patients are being sent home testing kits.

UCLA notes that similar CRE exposures have been reported recently in other United States hospitals. Bacteria traced back to a specialized endoscope has been afflicting hospitals since 2012, USA Today reports.

This story has been updated.