It has been reported that the State of New Jersey is now aware of 52 cases of B.cepacia infection in 2016. These cases are linked to an outbreak being investigated by health officials on the Federal and State level.
B.cepacia, or Burkholderia cepacia, is a complex of bacteria usually found in soil and water, and it can survive for prolonged periods of time in a moist environment. People who are most susceptible to this infection typically have health problems such as weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis.
Even more worrisome, this infection can even be obtained in otherwise sterile environments like hospitals. The infection has a broad range of side effects, from infected patients showing very little in the way of symptoms to escalating to very serious respiratory complications.
The New Jersey Department of Health has issued warnings to long-term health care facilities as early as last month regarding possible contamination from saline flushed syringes made by a Texas-based supplier, Nurse Assist.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention say the cases were found in 19 different facilities in New Jersey. So far, not all of the facilities have been identified. Further updates will be forthcoming over the next several days.