02/05/2013 09:55 EST | Updated 04/07/2013 05:12 EDT

Bacteria outbreak restricts access to Montreal hospital

Montreal's Santa Cabrini Hospital is closing its doors to visitors because of an outbreak to an antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The hospital will only allow visitors for special cases on compassionate grounds.

Since January the hospital has seen 65 cases of Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE).

Vancomycin is one of the last lines of defence against bacteria resistant to other antibiotics such as penicillins.

The hospital is currently aware of 37 cases where patients are carrying the bacteria.

Hospital spokesman Rocco Famiglietti, said the number of cases has stabilized since last week.

He said all new patients who enter the emergency room are tested for VRE.

The hospital has also increased its cleaning staff, and employees are wearing protective gloves and jackets to help prevent the spread of the bacteria.