Cases of Rare Superbug on the Rise in the US

The superbug is resistant to antibiotics, health officials warn

By Laura Sinpetru on February 28th, 2013 09:07 GMT

Researchers working with the US National Health Institutes of Health Clinical Center now warn that, despite their best efforts, a superbug might be spreading across the country.

What worries these health officials is that this particular superbug happens to be resistant to antibiotics, which means that eradicating it altogether is a basically an impossible task.

However, it is their hope that, should doctors and hospitals nationwide agree to collaborate with health officials working with the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it will become possible to contain the spread of this threat to public health.

According to Daily Mail, this superbug is known as the Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacea (CRE, for short), and can foster quite a lot of rare forms.

Thus, researchers are now aware of the existence of 37 different types of CRE, 15 of which have been reported since last July until present day.

“Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are a serious threat to public health. Infections with CRE are difficult to treat and have been associated with mortality rates as high as 40-50%,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.

Apparently, these types of CRE can cause medical issues such as pneumonia, infections of the intestines and/or the urinary tract, and sometimes even bloodstream infections.

“This increase highlights the need for U.S. health care providers to act aggressively to prevent the emergence and spread of these unusual CRE organisms,” reads a statement issued by the same health agency.

“We're working with state health departments to try to figure out how big a problem this is. We're still at a point where we can stop this thing. You can never eradicate CRE, but we can prevent the spread,” argued Arjun Srinivasan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Specialists explain that CREs more often than not affect people who are already ill, and who have been taking antibiotics for a considerable period. Still, they can also enter the body of otherwise healthy individuals.

Once inside a person's body, the bacteria can linger there for more than a year.
Rare superbug is spreading fast across the US
   Rare superbug is spreading fast across the US
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