If VRE is found in your feces or on your skin, you should talk with your family doctor. If you feel healthy, you will not need any treatment. You do not pose a health risk to your family, co-workers, or to the general public, and you should continue with your normal activities. If you do have symptoms associated with VRE, your doctor will give you the treatment you need.
If you are carrying VRE, it is important for you to wash your hands regularly. Using an antibacterial hand soap or an alcohol hand rub may help stop you from spreading VRE when touching surfaces with your hands.
Please note: If you are going into hospital, it is very important for you to let hospital admitting staff know that you have VRE.
Who’s at Risk?
If you are healthy, and living in the community, your chances of becoming infected with VRE are low, even if you have been in contact with someone with VRE (for example at work). You may be more at risk if you have been treated with frequent doses of vancomycin before, or if you stayed for a long time in a hospital where previous VRE cases have been often reported. Patients whose immune systems are suppressed are also at greater risk of getting sick from VRE.
What is the risk of this infection in BC?
At present in Canada, VRE is very uncommon. Most persons with VRE are identified by routine testing of skin and anal swabs done before or during a stay in hospital. In British Columbia, there have been scattered reports of VRE infections from across the province, with several clusters of VRE cases reported from a few hospitals.