According to a spokesperson for Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) in Hong Kong today, a 86-year-old patient in a male medical ward of PYNEH was confirmed to be a Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) carrier on April 2 and the patient has already been discharged.
In accordance with the prevailing infection control guidelines, the hospital had screened patients who had contact with the index patient and confirmed two more patients (aged 84 and 87 respectively) to be VRE carriers without clinical symptoms. They are still hospitalized under isolation and medical surveillance with stable condition.
The Infection Control Team, the departments concerned and experts of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health have discussed and decided to adopt the following enhanced infection control measures in the ward: Strongly encourages patients to perform hand hygiene; enhanced hand hygiene of staff; applied stringent contact precautions, including dedicated use of clinical items for VRE carriers; and enhanced environmental and equipment decontamination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), enteroccocci are bacteria that are normally present in the human intestines and in the female genital tract and are often found in the environment. These bacteria can sometimes cause infections. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is used to treat some drug-resistant infections caused by enterococci. In some instances, enterococci have become resistant to this drug and thus are called vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Most VRE infections occur in hospitals.