If you or someone in your home has VRE, here are some helpful measures that can help prevent its spread:
Talk with your healthcare provider and get medical care.
In general, healthy people are at low risk of getting infected with VRE. Therefore, casual contact, such as kissing, hugging, and touching, is generally safe. Visitors should wash their hands before leaving an infected person’s room. Also, wear disposable gloves if you anticipate contact with body fluids. If excessive contact with body fluids is expected, wear a gown. It is also acceptable for infants and children to have casual contact with these patients.
Outside of healthcare settings, there is little risk of becoming infected with VRE. In the home, the following precautions should be taken:
An Arkansas hospital in 1998 created a program to wipe out VRE by using strict patient containment procedures and thoroughly educating its employees. Among the most effective precautions is handwashing. Though some staff complained that the program was overly complicated and labor intensive, rates of VRE infection dramatically declined.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in late 1996, VRE was first detected in a regional coalition of healthcare facilities—state and local health departments in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Within six months, VRE had spread to nearly half of the healthcare facilities in the region. A VRE Task Force began a mitigation program that combined detecting VRE-colonized or -infected patients, using infection-control measures and appropriate courses of antibiotics. In two years, VRE was significantly reduced throughout the region—including a marked reduction in long-term care facilities and elimination in all acute-care facilities.
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Last Updated March 09, 2009