23 Apr 2016

Sixth person contracts superbug at Dunedin Hospital.

11:32 am on 23 April 2016

A sixth person has tested positive for a superbug resistant to antibiotics at Dunedin Hospital.

Dunedin Hospital entrance.

Photo: RNZ

The Southern District Health Board says another patient has screened positive for having a strain of enterococcus that is resistant to the common antibiotic vancomycin.

Chief medical officer Nigel Millar said all patients had been isolated, and the infection appeared to have been contained.

Dr Millar said the bacteria's resistance stemmed from the overuse of antibiotics.

He said it was becoming a worldwide problem, and could lead to other common infections developing resistance to all available antibiotics, making them nearly impossible to heal.

After the initial infections, the hospital ramped up infection prevention and control protocols in parts of the hospital that could be affected, including isolating patients and doing extra cleaning.

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