John Simerman / The New Orleans Advocate
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Five children, who ranged in age from 35 days to 13 years, arrived at Children's Hospital from different homes, had severe illnesses of various types and were admitted to assorted hospital wards in 2008 and 2009.
The one thing the three boys and two girls had in common, before they all died, was the hospital linens, and that's how they were infected by a nasty fungus that ate them away, according to a soon-to-be-published research study.
News of the outbreak, five years after investigators with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sleuthed out its likely source, prompted a former New Orleans city health director to slam the hospital and state on Tuesday for failing to sound the alarm to the public when it happened.
While hospital officials and a CDC doctor defended the response to the flesh-eating fungus infection, at least one family of a child who died after contracting mucormycosis in the outbreak blames the hospital, the state, doctors and a linen company for the ravages their son endured before dying.
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