California hospital’s ED hit by bedbug infestation

Written by Alyssa Rege

Officials at Visalia, Calif.-based Kaweah Delta Medical Center were forced to contact a pest exterminator Jan. 10 after they discovered a bedbug infestation in the facility’s emergency department, the Visalia Times-Delta reports.

A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed the information to the Visalia Times-Delta, stating a patient brought bedbugs into the ED last Wednesday.

“Our team’s control measures included caring for the patient and thoroughly cleaning rooms known to have bedbugs,” the spokesperson said. “Additionally, we examined every room in the ED and brought in a pest control company to treat rooms where bugs might have been present. This successfully prevented their spread to other patient environments throughout Kaweah Delta.”

The spokesperson said patients were transferred between rooms while the infested rooms were treated. She also noted the CDC has stated bedbugs “are not known to spread disease, but … their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep,” according to the report.

Some experts suggest hospital EDs are more susceptible to bedbug infestations because they have a high turnover rate.

“Any hitchhiking bedbugs have an opportunity to crawl off a person, their clothing, or their personal items in these areas,” a representative from Rentokil, a pest control company, told the Visalia Times-Delta.“Additionally, since these rooms have a high rate of patient turnover, they may be a higher risk for introduction because they see a higher volume of patients than standard patient rooms.”

 

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