Culture of Secrecy Shields Hospitals With Outbreaks of Drug-Resistant Infections

  • 2019-05-20
  • The New York Times

In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an urgent public alert about a deadly bacteria, resistant to virtually every known antibiotic, that sickened more than a dozen Americans who had elective surgery at Grand View Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico.

But when similar outbreaks take place at hospitals on American soil, the C.D.C. makes no such public announcement. That is because under its agreement with states, the C.D.C. is barred from publicly identifying hospitals that are battling to contain the spread of dangerous pathogens.

The rise of a deadly drug-resistant fungus called Candida auris, a focus of a New York Times report last weekend, has raised fresh questions about the secrecy enveloping infectious outbreaks at American medical institutions.

Still, he thought there was a greater value in promoting transparency. Public awareness about the lives lost to drug resistant infections, he said, could pressure hospitals to change the way they deal with infection control.