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Bacillus Cereus

Please click the frequently asked questions below for further information and IPC precautions required:

  • What is Bacillus Cereus?

    B. cereus in particular is a frequently recognised cause of toxin-induced acute gastroenteritis. Bacillus cereus is known to cause bacteraemia in immunocompromised individuals. This genus may also cause sepsis, pneumonia, endocarditis, central nervous system (CNS) and ocular infections.

    Incubation Period :

    • Emetic syndrome – average 2-3 hours (range 1-6) hours
    • Diarrhoeal syndrome – 8-12 hours (range 6-24 hours)

  • Why is this information important?

    If NIAS staff are aware that the patient has a suspected or confirmed case this should be communicated to the Control Room (Emergency or Non-emergency as appropriate) and the staff in the receiving unit when transferring the patient to ensure effective patient care and management.

  • How is it spread?

    It is transmitted by contaminated cooked foods, especially rice, pastas and vegetables, as well as raw milk and meat products.

    Airborne dissemination of the organisms from environmental sources is considered to further facilitate contamination, environmental sources include: soil, sediments, vegetation.

    Dust and contaminated laundry have been implicated in the healthcare environment. The risk of person-to-person transmission is typically considered to be low.

  • What are the symptoms of Norovirus?

    Symptoms often include:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhoea.

    However it may also cause sepsis, pneumonia, endocarditis, central nervous system (CNS) and ocular infections.

  • IPC Precautions
    • Contact Precautions should be used.
    • Hand Hygiene should be completed as per the 5 moments in line with usual practice with Soap and Water
    • Eye protection should be risk assessed
    • Gloves and Aprons should be worn.
    • The patient should be transported via ambulance with no other patients present.
    • Laundry should be treated as contaminated, placed into an alginate bag and placed into a red laundry bag.
  • What cleaning is required?

    All equipment and the ambulance should have an in-between patient clean paying particular attention to touch points.

  • Do staff need any prophylaxis or follow up?

    If staff have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of  they should remain vigilant for any symptoms but there is no active follow up required.

    If staff become symptomatic they should remain off work until 48 hours asymptomatic (72 hours if food handling).