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Hospital infection kills 4 babies

FOUR newborn babies have died and two others are receiving medical treatment after contracting infections in a hospital in north China's Tianjin Municipality, local health officials said yesterday.

The six premature infants started developing respiratory problems on March 14 at the Jixian County Maternal and Child Care Service Center, said a Tianjin Health Bureau spokesman.

Four died after they were transferred to the Beijing Children's Hospital.

The other two infants were still receiving treatment.

"One of the two is in a critical condition and the other's condition is favorable," said the spokesman.

A joint team of medical experts from the Ministry of Health and the Health Department of Tianjin is investigating.

Initial results show the deaths were a result of a hospital-acquired infection of enterobacter cloacae, a clinically significant gram-negative bacterium.

Another 17 premature infants at the care service center where the infections were contracted were not infected, the spokesman said.

He said further investigation was underway to find out the cause of the infection.


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