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VRE is an antibiotic resistant form of a bacteria, enterococcus that we all carry in our bowels, VRE is no more likely to cause disease than non vancomycin resistant enterococcus and carries no risk for severe outcomes, compared with non VRE.
Some people can carry VRE on their bodies and it may never cause them any problems or require any treatment. If an individual develops an infection with VRE, there are antibiotics available to treat the infection.
VRE is spread to others by contact, usually on people’s hands. It is also spread by contact with surfaces, so attention to cleaning patient rooms and equipment is important to stop the spread.
You can stop VRE from spreading by frequently washing your hands with soap and water, or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Encouraging hand washing in your friends and family prevents the spread of all kinds of germs, including VRE.