CDC warns medical professionals of 'superbug'
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A new, resilient type of bacteria is causing serious problems in hospitals across the country, but little is known about its effects here in Texas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Carbapenum-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) causes infections which can kill about half of the people infected.
Katherine Shea, an infectious diseases clinical pharmacy specialist with Seton Hospitals explains what makes the bacteria so deadly.
"It's a collaboration of different organisms that are now becoming resistant,” Shea said. “Antibiotics are not effective against them any longer and we have very limited—if any—antibiotics to treat them."
And CRE is on the rise. According to a report from the CDC, about four percent of 4,000 hospitals in the U.S. had at least one case in the first half of 2012 as well as 18 percent of our nation's 200 long term acute care hospitals.
"For the most part, I think the CDC is really making sure that people are aware that there are these resistant or super bugs out there," Shea said.
In Texas, CRE is not yet designated as a notifiable disease, meaning doctors and hospitals are not required to report cases to the CDC. Officials are still deciding if CRE should be a notifiable disease or not.
Overall, CRE has been detected in 42 states over the past 10 years.