Multistate Outbreak Grows

In a recent announcement, the CDC noted the agency continues to work with FDA, health departments and multiple healthcare facilities to investigate a multi-state outbreak of infections caused by Burkholderia cepacia complex (also known as “B. cepacia complex”).

At this time, CDC continues to recommend that clinicians not use any liquid docusate product as a stool softener or for any other medical purpose. This recommendation is now expanded to all patient populations. If an oral liquid docusate stool softener is medically necessary, alternative medicines should be used.

CDC urges healthcare providers and laboratories to remain on alert for infections caused by B. cepacia complex occurring among non-cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and should inform infection prevention staff immediately when these infections are identified. In addition, although infections caused by B. cepacia complex are known to occur among patients with CF, any clusters of such infections should be reported. Cases and clusters should be reported to state or local public health authorities.

Facilities that identify infections caused by B. cepacia complex among non-CF patients or clusters of these infections among CF patients should sequester and save all docusate products used in the facility.‎‎

To date, 47 B. cepacia complex cases have been confirmed by molecular typing to match one of two outbreak strain types identified from healthcare facilities in five states. CDC has confirmed that two samples of unused oral liquid docusate product received from one of the affected hospitals have tested positive for B. cepacia complex.

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