Department of Heath emergency team meets over CPE superbug

The group is to meet on a weekly basis

Department of Heath emergency team meets over CPE superbug

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) | Image: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

The National Public Health Emergency Team has met over concerns about the CPE superbug.

The Department of Health convened its first meeting on Thursday.

The team was convened after the activation of the Public Health Emergency Plan by Health Minister Simon Harris.

Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) is the newest strain of 'superbugs', or bacteria that are hard to kill with antibiotics.

The Chief Medical Officer and chair of the group, Dr Tony Holohan, said: "The meeting today was about establishing the structures and working arrangements for the National Public Health Emergency Team on CPE.

"The team will provide advice, guidance, support and direction on the surveillance and management of CPE at national level; the development and implementation of a strategy to contain CPE and provide oversight".

Membership of the team will include key stakeholders from the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive (HSE) management with responsibility for public health, surveillance, operations and quality assurance and patient representatives.

They are to meet on a weekly basis and "continually evaluate the readiness of the health service" to manage and sustain the containment of CPE.

Regular updates, including summary minutes of meetings, will be provided on the Department of Health website.