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What causes Enterococcus in a three-year-old?

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Enterococci bacteria is naturally present in all human beings, including children, and is spread by casual contact and handling contaminated objects, notes WebMD. It is found in the intestines and on the skin. Normally this bacteria does not cause problems, but common infection sites are the intestines, urinary tract and wounds.

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Some factors may increase the risk of a pediatric enterococci infection, such as prolonged hospitalization, prior use of antibiotics like vancomycin and a weak immune system, according to Medscape. Children with structural abnormalities of the urinary tract or who have urinary catheters are also at a greater risk for infection. In newborns, enterococci accounts for up to 10 percent of cases of bacteraemia and septicemia.

A vancomycin-resistant strain of enterococci, or VRE is resistant to different types of antibiotics and spreads easily from person to person, according to Drugs.com. Preventing the spread of VRE is possible with frequent hand washing, keeping any wounds clean and covered, and not sharing items such as brushes and silverware. Purchasing a germ-killing cleaner is also helpful to use on doorknobs, kitchen and bathroom counters, and sink faucets. Individuals who experience muscle pain, weakness and fever are advised to contact a doctor for care.

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