Gwinnett clinic mum on MRSA investigation

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

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ATLANTA - A Gwinnett County medical center is not talking about a county health investigation into possible drug-resistant bacteria at their facility.

Channel 2 Action News broke the story two weeks ago when epidemiologists from the county health department visited the Premier Aesthetic Center in Lilburn. 

An attorney for the center said management would not talk about the matter and ordered WSB-TV to stay off its property.

Channel 2's Amy Napier-Viteri obtained an internal email from the director of the center to employees, which confirmed some patients had the drug-resistant infection called MRSA.

"...two incidences occurred back-to-back with MRSA-infected patients," the email read.  "In the last three months, we have probably diagnosed six patients or so with true MRSA infection."

The email went on to state "we put in place protocols consistent with CDC guidelines in order to do our part.  All staff and their families were asked to treat 'reservoir areas' for seven days starting last Saturday. 

“If you haven't started, please start today.  It is important that we all get treated at the same time, as those not treated and who are possible carriers can re-contaminate us all," the email said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is not investigating the center, but one of its epidemiologists talked about MRSA in general terms to Channel 2’s Richard Elliot.

"MRSA unfortunately is quite common," said Dr. Melissa Tobin-D'Angelo.  "Staph or MRSA can cause a variety of types of infections.  It can cause a skin infection.  It can cause pneumonia.  It can get into someone's blood stream and cause a blood stream infection."

Dr. Tobin-D'Angelo said hospitals or clinics with MRSA should follow routine protocols to ensure proper hygiene and safety procedures.

"These are really routine things that should be done as preventative measures," said Dr. Tobin-D'Angelo.



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