Please note: While some information will still be current in a year, other information may already be out of date in three months time. If you are in any doubt, please feel free to ask.


my 8 year old son and I have been visiting his Great Grandmother in hospital for the last two weeks. All of a sudden today we were told that they are barrier nursing her because of a urine infection. I questioned the nurse and she said that the infection is called ESBL. I explained that my son has CF. She panicked and said that he should not enter the room to see her. I have just read an answer on your archive about this very subject where the expert stated that the CF child should not visit or have contact with anyone who visits either. This is all rather like closing the gate after the horse has bolted!!! Should I swab my son straight away to see if he has contracted ESBL??
Dear Parent
The risk of cross-infection from urine which is positive for ESPL is very small. If you are concerned a cough swab would be reasonable to do though the likelihood of it being positive is very very low. The difficulty in these sorts of situations is that it is difficult to quantify the risk and so the general advice is to avoid contact with other individuals known to be infected with resistant bacteria.
Best wishes
Stuart Elborn
The answer is edited by: Prof Stuart Elborn