Newark mayor calls for changes after deadly bacterial outbreak at University Hospital

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NEWARK -

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is calling for an overhaul at University Hospital after a bacterial outbreak that has killed three infants.

State officials are investigating.

A total of four infants have contracted the bacterial infection called "A. baumannii." since September.

Two of those infants died last week and one died in September, according to state officials. The fourth has been discharged from the hospital.

In each of those cases, the babies were born prematurely.

Health officials in the state were notified about the outbreak on Oct. 1 and have been investigating ever since.

In October, they say they found several major infection control issues mainly concerning overall cleanliness and a lack of intervention to prevent bacteria transmission.

Baraka is calling for a new leadership board, new emergency rooms and more outpatient clinics.

"The hospital is central to providing health care to Newark residents and I have been very concerned about its quality of care," Baraka said.

When the outbreak was first discovered, Gov. Phil Murphy appointed a monitor for the hospital.

State officials said Tuesday that they're looking into how the hospital is reporting deaths during an ongoing outbreak. They say, as of Monday, the hospital's own infection control program was not aware of the deaths.

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