Sacré-Coeur Hospital visiting hours shortened after outbreak
Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus poses a risk for patients with weakened immune systems
Montreal's Sacré-Coeur Hospital is restricting its visiting hours because of an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant infection.
Officials at Sacré-Coeur will not say how many cases have been reported because it changes from day to day. An outbreak is defined as two or more linked cases of an infection.
The infection — vancomycin-resistant enterococcus — does not normally affect healthy people. In fact, enteroccoci are bacteria that occur naturally in the body and can be present without causing infection.
But for patients with a weakened immune system, the bacteria can pose a serious risk.
The hospital, located in Montreal's Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough, is restricting visiting hours from 5-7 p.m. until further notice.
A Sacré-Coeur spokesperson said the hospital's aging facilities pose a challenge when it comes to containing outbreaks.
The shorter visiting hours are meant as a precaution to help reduce the risk transmission.
In 2012, officials at the hospital warned the public to avoid its ER because of an increase in infections. At the time, officials blamed the provincial government for allowing the hospital to fall into disrepair.