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What causes enterococcus?

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Quick Answer

Enterococcus is caused by the enterococci bacteria that are naturally found in the intestinal tract; the bacteria usually cause no problems, but when they become resistant to antibiotics, serious infections, particularly in people with weakened immune systems or who are sick, can result, according to WebMD. Enterococcus infections can be found anywhere in the body, although they are more apt to be found in wounds, theurinary tract or theintestines. Once the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, it can be spread from human to human.

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Full Answer

This type of infection is spread from one person to another via contaminated objects or casual contact. This usually happens in a healthcare setting, including in nursing homes and hospitals. Still, the chances of most healthy people with strong immune systems becoming infected from exposure to another person is slim. However, those with long-term illnesses or who have been treated with multiple antibiotics or had major surgery may find themselves more prone to the infection.

Treatment for enterococcus infection involves the use of antibiotics. However, the infection is more difficult to treat, since fewer antibiotics can be effective in treating the condition. WebMD warns that taking antibiotics without actually needing them puts people at a heightened risk for developing antibiotic-resistant infections in the future.

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