Bed Bugs Discovered at University of Wisconsin Health Clinic

Bed bugs, which have been infesting New York City in unprecedented numbers, have now been reported in the administrative offices of the University of Wisconsin Health and Clinics, the Badger Herald just reported.

Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the United States is experiencing what Wake My NC described as an “alarming” return of the tiny bloodsucking parasites. Also, at least five states have sought assistance from the Department of Defense and the state of Ohio recently asked the Environmental Protection Agency for permission to use a banned pesticide, said ABC News previously.

In Wisconsin, the outbreak resulted in disinfection of the building with the pests confirmed on the first floor of the UW Health’s administrative offices building. According to the Clinic’s statement, a pest control company was hired to handle the problem. Also according to the statement, following an inspection of the building, the remainder of the floors are believed to be free of bed bugs, wrote the Banger Herald.

Lisa Brunette, a Clinic spokeswoman said that the Clinic thinks the pests got into the offices by “latching” on someone entering the building, said the Badger Herald. The Badger Herald noted that bed bugs are “stealthy” travelers, and that it’s incredibly difficult to determine on whom the bugs travel, which better enables them to move about without being seen, said the Badger Herald.

Brunette said UW Health and Clinics did everything it could to end the outbreak, but noted that outbreaks cannot be avoided. “You can’t prevent it. No organization can do that. That’s why there’s a national outbreak. They travel,” quoted the Badger Herald.

Brunette reiterated that no patients would have been impacted since the outbreak occurred in administrative offices in a separate building, nowhere near patient care, wrote the Badger Herald.

At least one student at the University of Wisconsin (UW) expressed displeasure saying the he is worried about bed bugs turning up in residence halls, saying that the university is not advising students about bed bugs, their prevention, or about the outbreak at UW Health and Clinics, wrote the Badger Herald.

In New York, bed bugs have been found at the New York City Ballet and New York City Opera at Lincoln Center; a variety of popular stores, including Nike Inc.’s flagship store, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, and Abercrombie and Fitch; large offices, such as Sirius Radio and the Wall Street Journal headquarters; theatres; and both housing projects and chic apartments.

The Associated Press (AP) added the Empire State Building and Bloomingdale’s to the growing list saying travelers are changing plans to visit New York. According to the AP, reports of new infestations in Manhattan have been occurring on a nearly daily basis and, now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration has expressed concern that the tiny pests are impacting the City’s image and hurting its $30 billion tourism industry.

The resurgent pests have sparked at least two lawsuits and many more lawsuits are expected as bed bugs continue to show up in an ever-growing range of areas.

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