Update on cluster of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci cases in Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) made the following update today (September 30) regarding an earlier announcement on a cluster of patients confirmed as Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) carriers in a medical ward:

     In accordance with the prevailing infection control guidelines, contact tracing has been performed. Two more patients (one male and one female, aged 75 and 81) were confirmed as VRE carriers today, but without clinical symptoms. The patients concerned have been discharged.

     The tracing concerned is the usual patient screening exercise, which is different from the pan-screening exercise that commenced at QEH today.

     The QEH Infection Control Team and the departments concerned have adopted the following prevailing enhanced infection control measures:

1. Strongly encourage patients to perform hand hygiene;
2. Enhance hand hygiene of staff;
3. Apply stringent contact precautions, including dedicated use of clinical items to VRE carriers;
4. Enhance environmental and equipment decontamination; and
5. Apply an active surveillance culture for in-patients.

     The QEH Infection Control Team will continue monitoring the situation of the ward closely. The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow-up.

Ends/Monday, September 30, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:09