Three cases of colonisation by multi antibiotic-resistant bacteria belonging to a special subtype of
Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) have been identified in patients recently admitted to Christchurch hospitals.
Isolation of this organism is extremely rare and so we believe the three colonisations are connected, but it has not been possible to identify how. The original source has not been identified.
If this pattern of resistance was in a bacteria causing an illness ie an infection, it would be very hard to treat - the antibiotics we would have to use are not ideal and have potential side effects.
The main area of concern would be in hospitals where a colonisation could spread from person to person. In vulnerable people, such as someone who is immune-compromised, a colonisation can more easily become an infection.
The laboratory is on high alert as are hospital staff.
We are checking all contacts to check for signs of spread - none have been found so far.
We are getting in touch with contacts who have left hospital and providing information to their General Practice teams and any other relevant health care providers, though the risk to them is very low.
All of these are precautionary measures, being taken because we are determined to take all the steps we can to limit the risks.
CRE information sheets for patients are below. The first information sheet is equally relevant for visitors to Christchurch Hospitals.