Coffs Health Campus still containing superbug

ELECTIVE surgery involving overnight stays for patients is still on hold as Coffs Harbour Health Campus (CHHC) works to keep its superbug outbreak under control.

The complex was hit by Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) more than three weeks ago and precautions to stop its spread continue to be enforced.

In the 24 days of the outbreak, a total of 35 patients have been identified as positive to VRE, according to a statement released yesterday by the North Coast Area Health Service.

Eight infected patients remain at the health campus while one is in Bellinger River District Hospital.

“An active infection control program at CHHC has kept the hospital free of endemic VRE for many years and we are confident that current actions should prevent this from becoming the case now,” the statement reported.

Tests are being carried out on what are referred to as 'contact' patients – people who have been in proximity to other patients confirmed to have VRE.

Test results take 72 hours to return.

There are 16 contact patients at CHHC, five at Bellinger River, three at Macksville District Hospital, and one at Grafton Base Hospital.

Same-day elective surgery and emergency surgery are continuing as normal.

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