UPDATED 9:09 AM PT — Wednesday, July 3, 2019
At least one child has died and five others are sick after mold was discovered in a Seattle children’s hospital. According to a spokesperson on Tuesday, the child died after developing a mold-related infection from the facility in 2018.
This comes after the hospital closed over a dozen of its main operating rooms in may after officials detected Aspergillus mold in the air. Tuesday’s statement cites gaps in the medical center’s air filtration system as the possible cause of the outbreak.
Despite their preventative measures, officials say patients that have been exposed to the mold are at low risk of being infected.
“So first at all, we want to assure patients that even thought we notified them so that we could tell them what to watch for and answer their questions, they’re not really at very much risk at all,” stated Dr. Mark Del Beccaro, chief medical officer for Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Exposure to the mold is typically not fatal, however, it could be for people with weak immune systems. Hospital officials say they will reopen their main operating rooms once they are certain they are safe for patients.