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ATLANTA (CBSMiami) – An antibiotic-resistant family of bacteria continues to spread throughout the U.S. health care system and is now prompting warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The bacteria, Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), kill up to half of the patients who get the bloodstream infections from the disease. The disease has evolved a resistance to carbapenems, also called last-resort antibiotics.
In addition, the CRE bacteria can reportedly transfer its resistance to other bacteria within its family. The transfer of resistance can create additional life-threatening infections for patients in hospitals, longer-term health care facilities, and possibly otherwise healthy people,according to the CDC.
The CDC said almost all CRE infections occur in people receiving “significant medical care in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, or nursing homes.”
“CRE are nightmare bacteria. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Doctors, hospital leaders, and public health, must work together now to implement CDC’s “detect and protect” strategy and stop these infections from spreading.”
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