VRE outbreak declared over

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Posted Sep 2nd, 2011

NIAGARA, ON.: An outbreak of VRE at Greater Niagara General Site’s Unit C has been declared over, effective today.

“Our staff, physicians and volunteers go above and beyond to ensure patients receive the best possible care while also managing the new norm of infection prevention and control measures,” says Dr. Sue Matthews, Interim President and CEO of the Niagara Health System. ”I would like to publicly thank them for their ongoing efforts and teamwork to end this VRE outbreak. I would also like to thank the public for its support and co-operation with our infection prevention and control measures.”

The VRE outbreak was declared on Unit C on June 21, 2011, and declared over this afternoon. An outbreak may be declared over when there are no new cases and the number of cases has returned to the baseline level.

Throughout the outbreak period, the NHS’s Infection Prevention and Control team worked closely with the larger NHS healthcare team as well as with Niagara Region Public Health.

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.

“Good hand hygiene continues to be the best defence to prevent the spread of superbugs,” says Dr. Matthews. “We are all in this together, and it is essential that everyone practices good hand hygiene at any of our hospital sites.”

Niagara Health System