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VRE outbreak declared over on medical unit, St. Catharines General Hospital Site

Posted Sep 25th, 2012

An outbreak of VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus) outbreak in the C3 East at the St. Catharines General Hospital Site has been declared over today.

An outbreak is declared when the number of hospital-associated cases is higher than what is seen as the normal threshold. There were a total of 11 cases associated with the outbreak.

The VRE outbreak was declared on Friday, August 31, 2012.

“The fight against superbugs is a challenging reality for all hospitals,” says Kim Stephens Woods, Vice President, Patient Services. “Thank you to the staff who remain committed to being vigilant with our infection prevention and control practices and brought 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