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Beware the Enterobacteriaceae - superbug emerging in the U.S.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 28th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are alerting the medical community of an emerging, untreatable multidrug-resistant organism in the United States. The Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) comes in many forms. Of the 37 forms reported in the U.S., 15 have been reported in less than a year.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The CDC said the increase in CRE means health care providers need to "act aggressively to prevent the emergence and spread of these unusual CRE organisms."

Enterobacteriaceae lives in water, soil and in intestines in the human body. These "surperbugs" have developed high levels of resistance to antibiotics, such as carbapanems. Individuals who usually develop CRE infections are those who are taking antibiotics and then get significant medical treatment for other conditions.

The majority of CRE were "isolated from patients who received overnight medical treatment outside of the United States," according to the CDC.

Health care providers that encounter CRE infections should follow the CDC's recommendations in the 2012 CRE toolkit.

Authorities warn that patients who share a room with a patient who has a CRE infection, which include even health care providers who treated the infected patient, should be screened to make sure they have not caught the infection.

If the infected patient is transferred to another health care facility, the new facility should become aware of the CRE infection. Health care providers who care for infected patients should not treat other non-infected patients.

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