Move over VRE; VRS is the next big problem

Yes, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) present a big problem. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, worries about VRE may be surpassed by a new problem: vancomycin-resistant staphylococcus (VRS).

The agency reports that the first case of VRS (coagulase negative) in the United States popped up in a Virginia hospital last fall. The patient, a 49-year-old woman, was suffering from late-stage cancer and, fortunately, was under isolation anyway — so no further infections occurred. She died of cancer.

The CDC is so concerned about VRS that it titled its presentation to the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology "The Impending Apoca lypse." The problem with VRS (coagulase negative) infections is that they are already resistant to just about every other drug.