Outbreak investigation and control of SSSS

A report from the UK describes how an outbreak of Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome was investigated and managed. Eight neonates were affected over a period of three months. Clinical and microbiologic investigation was performed of affected infants, unaffected infants, the environment of the unit, and the staff. Social network analysis software was used to supplement the investigation. Interventions to stop the outbreak included hand hygiene audits, enhanced environmental cleaning, assigning responsibility for cleaning and equipment disinfection to specific individuals, stopping use of the birthing pool on the labour ward, removal of any communal products, such as baby bathing liquid and cotton wool, immediate isolation and prompt treatment of affected neonates, prompt decolonisation of staff carrying Staphylococcus aureus with octenidine (0.3%) wash and mupirocin (2%) nasal ointment, and raising awareness of health professionals. One staff member with dermatitis was found to be carrying the outbreak strain on the hands and was excluded from the workplace as part of control efforts.

Nosocomial outbreak of staphylococal scalded skin syndrome. Paranthaman et al 2014.