Paris hospitals face upsurge of killer-germs

25th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 24, 2006 (AFP) - Several hospitals around Paris are facing an upsurge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as VRE, France's General Health Board said Sunday.

PARIS, Sept 24, 2006 (AFP) - Several hospitals around Paris are facing an upsurge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as VRE, France's General Health Board said Sunday.

A total of 313 people have been infected with Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) in the last two years and the bacteria could have been a factor in at least three deaths, the organisation said.

Specialists fear that the bacteria could boost the resistance of another germ, staphylococcus aureus, as has been the case in hospitals in the United States.

VRE is a mutant strain of enterococcus, a group of bacterial species that live in the digestive and urinary tracts, which is resistant to Vancomycin.

Vancomycin is a powerful antibiotic that is generally only used as a last resort against bacteria that are already resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics.

The bacteria generally do not cause any problems for healthy people, who can be carriers, but it can be fatal to people with weak immune systems, such as the sick, the elderly or the very young.

Doctor Didier Houssin, director general of health, said 313 people had become infected with VREs since August 2004, 53 of whom had fallen ill, mainly with urinary infections.

"Among these cases, we have noted three deaths in which we think the bacteria played a role," Houssin added.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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