CDC will not further investigate UPMC mold outbreak despite new report

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the CDC will not conduct further investigations in to a mold outbreak discovered in 2015 that contributed to five patient deaths at Pittsburgh-based UPMC hospitals despite the findings of an internal report that detected mold on hospital bed linens, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The findings of the internal report — completed in May 2016 — were filed Jan. 26 in a lawsuit motion. The lawsuit was filed by the families of two patients who died after stays at UPMC hospitals. The report states mold similar to fungus detected during the 2015 outbreak was identified on bed linens supplied to the hospital by Paris Healthcare Linen Services in DuBois, Pa.

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"The facts of this investigation don't support the conclusion that infections resulted from exposure to linens," said the state health department in an emailed statement, according to the Post-Gazette.

The CDC reportedly stands by the conclusions the agency — with the help of state and county health departments — reached in 2016. Even though that investigation never identified a specific source for the outbreak, the CDC determined infections were linked to the improper use of negative-pressure rooms.

CDC spokesman Thomas Skinner told the Post-Gazette in an email that the agency's investigation did not point to the outsourced linen service.

"If linens were involved most likely there would have been cases more widespread throughout [the] facility and especially cutaneous infections," said Mr. Skinner.

No warnings have been sent to the 160 other hospitals that receive linens treated at the DuBois facility.

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