'Nightmare Bacteria' a Rising Threat in US Hospitals
Family of germs resists even the strongest antibiotics
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2013 4:41 AM CST
"We can nip this in the bud. But it's going to take a lot of effort on the part of hospitals," CDC director Thomas Frieden says.   (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

(Newser) – A family of deadly germs that can withstand even the strongest antibiotics is a growing threat in American hospitals, federal officials warn. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae—CRE—have been detected in 4% of short-stay hospitals and nearly a fifth of long-term ones and authorities warn there is only a "limited window of opportunity" to prevent their spread, the New York Times reports. Cases have been reported in 42 states.

"What's called CRE are nightmare bacteria," CDC director Thomas Frieden tells NPR. He describes them as a "triple threat" because they are resistant to even last-ditch antibiotics, can cause fatality rates of nearly 50%, and can pass on drug resistance to other bacteria. "The mechanism of resistance to antibiotics not only works for one bacteria, but can be spread to others," Frieden warns. The CDC is urging hospitals to do all they can to contain CRE before it spreads to the community at large.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
1freeusa
Mar 6, 2013 8:17 PM CST
If this is true, then this should pose a greater threat to medical staff and doctors than to the general population. With 3 children working at hospitals, its a little concerning.
odowd80
Mar 6, 2013 1:39 PM CST
Time to get some HINS lights installed. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-11/researchers-use-bacteria-killing-light-destroy-pathogens-flip-switch
Spudsy
Mar 6, 2013 12:49 PM CST
Anyone that has owned an aquarium can recognize this stuff. Overpopulate your aquarium and nature always would send a disease to equal things out.