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7. How can I prevent VRE from spreading at home?

Regular handwashing by carriers and family members is the simplest and most effective way. VRE are not more dangerous than the other bacteria normally found in people we interact with every day.

Certain objects or surfaces that are often touched by a carrier may be contaminated. Therefore, the bedroom and bathroom should be cleaned with disinfectant. Bleach may be used (1 part bleach diluted in 9 parts water). Objects and surfaces that are often contaminated include toilets, grip bars, flushing handles, doorknobs, light switches, bedside tables and telephones.

Bandages soiled with secretions must be thrown out in a closed plastic bag. No particular measures are required for dishes and utensils. Clothes belonging to a person who is a VRE-carrier can be washed in the usual way with a standard commercial detergent in hot or warm water.

If someone in the home is ill and has a weakened immune system, other measures may be necessary, and it is important to discuss this with a physician or nurse before the VRE-carrier goes home.

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