An outbreak of bacteria at the hospital has visiting hours cut. A number of patients in the Medical-C ward are carrying either Enteroccous or Staphyloccus, or both. Infection Control Coordinator for the Timmins Hospital, Jodie Russell, says both are common bacteria in healthy people.

He says Enteroccous is carried in our gut, while Staphyloccus is found in our noses and skin. He says what is different about this strain, is that they both have resistance to the antibiotics that would normally be used to treat them. He says there are some forms of antibiotics that are available, but it requires a lot of attention. That’s because this particular strain of bacteria has the ability to become resistant to antibiotics. Doctors don’t want to give patients a lot of antibiotics at the same time, which could create even more resistance.

Some patients are getting a dose of those antibiotics, while doctors are waiting to see if other patients will fight it off on their own. Russell says the visiting hours won’t be back to normal until test results come back all clear. He says as long as they keep isolating new cases, they will continue with the precautions. It will be another week, to a week and a half, until the latest round of screening comes back identifying new cases or not.

Medical-C is closed to visitors, while the paediatric ward is restricted to parents and caregivers only. Russell says anyone coming or going from the hospital should take extra precautions to wash their hands. No numbers are being released on how many patients are sick with the bacteria, but Russell says it is mainly affecting older patients.