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Reports of rare superbug jump in U.S.

March 1, 2013

ATLANTA — Government health officials are renewing warnings for U.S. hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities after a sharp increase in the number of rare but potentially fatal types of a superbug resistant to nearly all last-resort antibiotics, according to NBC News.

cre bacteriaThe warning comes as Israeli researchers report that people who carry dangerous Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) can take "more than a year before they test negative for the bacteria, making it more difficult to control and raising the risk of wider spread," the article stated.

According to the article, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that reports  of unusual forms of CRE have nearly doubled.

"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," said the CDC in a health advisory.

CREs, named for their resistance to Carbapenem antibiotics, the "big guns" of the medical arsenal, usually strike people who are already ill and require devices such as ventilators or catheters or who have been taking antibiotics for a long time, but they can infect any patient, the article noted.

The CDC is calling for stricter isolation and hygiene precautions, increased screening of patients potentially colonized with CRE and better communication within and between hospitals and other health care settings where the bugs can become intractable — and deadly, the article added.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.