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QHC Picton declares outbreak of staph infection

Quinte Health Care has declared an outbreak of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) at the Picton hospital site – however, the affected are not ill.
MRSA is a strain of staphylococcus, or staph, that’s resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it.
Staph bacteria are normally found on the skin or in the nose of about one-third of the population. Staph bacteria are generally harmless unless they enter the body through a cut or other wound, and even then they often cause only minor skin problems in healthy people.
Staph infections, however, can cause serious illness. This most often happens in older adults and people who have weakened immune systems, usually in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Susan Rowe, manager, public affairs and community relations, says QHC has instituted aggressive infection control procedures, including: isolation restrictions, increased cleaning of the unit, dedicated medical equipment, cohorting of patients, and a temporary stop to any group patient activities on the unit. The situation is being monitored daily by the QHC Infection Control team.
The public is encouraged to adhere to the visiting policy except for compassionate or under extenuating circumstances. Visitors are reminded of the following:
Visiting hours are from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
There is a limit of two visitors per patient per two hour visitation block. Visitors who are unwell should not visit. Visit only one patient per trip to the hospital. Children under 12 must be closely supervised. Visitors should clean their hands frequently and must not use patient washrooms or kitchens on the unit. Visitors are asked to check in at the nurses’ station and to adhere to staff requests of strict infection control practices.

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