Beach Grove Home in Charlottetown is limiting visitors in one of its wings after five residents tested positive for the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Health PEI says in a written release. 

The five residents live in the home's Sunset Household, and all have tested positive for colonization or carriers of the bacteria. They are otherwise healthy, the release said.

"We are working closely with staff at Beach Grove Home to continue to screen all residents within the affected household, and appropriate precautions are being taken to ensure the bacteria isn't spread to other residents," said Dr. Greg German, medical microbiologist and infectious disease consultant, in the release.

klebsiella pneumoniae

'Appropriate precautions are being taken to ensure the bacteria isn’t spread,' says medical microbiologist Dr. Greg German. (klebsiella-pneumoniae.org)

One-quarter to one-third of patients colonized with MRSA become infected with the superbug, which can attack the skin and soft tissue, cause a form of pneumonia, blood infections and, in some cases, death.

"As MRSA is most commonly spread by direct and indirect contact via the hands, it is extremely important that everyone coming into the home, including visitors, clean their hands before and after entering a resident's room, and upon entering and leaving the facility," German added.

Only two people at a time per resident will be allowed to visit the Sunset wing, and visits should be no more than two hours, the release states.

Staff will reassess the situation on Sept. 19 and update the public then.