Blurred of nursing care for help patient in ICU at the hospital.

Healthcare experts have been warning the American public that a rise in COVID-19 cases could also impact the treatment of other illnesses, and a recent report does a good job of explaining why.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a comprehensive report Tuesday on how a hospital in New Jersey fought both the spread of COVID-19 cases and a cluster of Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) at the same time.

In healthcare facilities, CRAB is known to survive on dry surfaces for extended periods of time and spread asymptomatically among people in the facility. It's an issue because it causes infections that are difficult to control and often leads to breaches in infection control efforts, according to the CDC.

The hospital in New Jersey counted 34 cases of CRAB in late May 2020, which just happened to be a time where it was also battling a cluster of COVID-19 cases. Nearly two thirds of the CRAB patients (21) were admitted to intensive care units that at the time were already dedicated to COVID-19 patients.

The CDC said the situation in New Jersey shows that hospitals currently fighting surges of COVID-19 patients could be more vulnerable than usual to multi drug-resistant organism infections. In other words, hospitals are going to have a hard time preventing HAIs when they're spending so much time and resources to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"The occurrence of this cluster underscores the potential for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) to spread during events when standard hospital practices might be disrupted," said the CDC in its report. "Conventional IPC (infection prevention and control) strategies should be reinstated as soon as capacity and resources allow."

To read the rest of the report, click here.