Health department investigating MRSA reports at local clinic

by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:

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ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News uncovered an investigation into a MRSA bacteria issue at a local dermatology office.

The Gwinnett County Health Department confirmed to Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri it is investigating reports of cases at the highly antibiotic resistant infection at Premiere Dermatology & Surgery in Lilburn.

Channel 2 Action News had cameras at the facility as several epidemiologists with the health department went in and out of the clinic.

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An employee at the facility refused to comment and further calls and emails to the clinic asking about the investigation went unreturned.

A nurse who used to work at the dermatology practice, which offers medical and surgical procedures, told Viteri she has heard about the infections from other employees.

"I've heard about five cases and they were all patients who did cosmetic surgeries," she said.

She also said many employees were worried about the bacteria, which can cause serious health problems if it gets into the body, usually through an open wound or cut.

Viteri also obtained a copy of an email sent to staff members regarding MRSA at the facility. It said in recent weeks at the clinic, "2 incidences occurred back-to-back with 2 MRSA-infected patients…In the last 3 months we have probably diagnosed 6 patients or so with true MRSA infection."

The email said all staff members and their families were to start antibiotic treatment if they hadn't already and begin stricter cleaning policies at the clinic.

Channel 2 Action News also spoke with a former patient who said she reached out to the clinic to find out more about the possible MRSA cases but no one returned her call.