A prestigious medical journal is hailing the way Sioux City-area health care workers attacked a bacterial outbreak four years ago. The latest New England Journal of Medicine tracks the way health care workers and public health officials within a 50-mile radius of Sioux City responded when there was an outbreak of V-R-E, the most common bacteria that causes infections in health care facilities. Steven Quirk was head of the Siouxland District Health Department at the time says the major compliment has to go to the community for being able to organize the program. Quirk says four hospitals and 28 nursing homes in the tri-state area around Sioux City cooperated by identifying which patients had the bacterial infection.That “V-R-E” bacteria has become resistant to antibiotics. Quirk says most patients who have V-R-E don’t show any symptoms.Quirk is now head of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s division of environmental health.
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