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VRE outbreak in C3 East, St. Catharines General Site

Posted Aug 31st, 2012

The Niagara Health System has declared a unit outbreak of VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus) in C3 East at the St. Catharines General Hospital Site.

An outbreak is declared when the number of hospital-associated cases is higher than what is seen as the normal threshold. There have been six cases in C3 East since August 24 (two currently in hospital).

All infection prevention and control measures are in place to control the spread of the infection and bring the outbreak to an end as quickly as possible.

What is VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus)?

Enterococci are germs that live in the gastrointestinal tract (bowels) of most people and generally do not cause harm (this is termed ‘colonization’). Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are strains of enterococci that are resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. If a person has an infection caused by VRE, such as a urinary tract infection or blood infection, it may be more difficult to treat. VRE is spread from one person to another by contact.

Niagara Health System