The CDC report says the new bugs — which the CDC calls “nightmare bacteria” — are appearing more often in hospitals, reports NBC News.
The superbug is referred to as “CRE,” long for “carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae.” The resistant strains of germs have been detected at 4% of acute-care hospitals and 18% of long-term care facilities. These particular strains are resistant to the strongest, last-resort antibiotics.
While the percentage of hospitals with the bacteria is still low, the growth over the last decade is alarming the CDC. During the past 10 years, the number of detections in hospitals have grown more than 250%. One outbreak of a CRE concerned a strain of pneumonia that got loose at the National Institutes of Health near Washington, D.C., last year. In that outbreak, seven people were killed by the bug.
To combat the bugs, the CDC is urging all hospitals to be alert for them and to act quickly to isolate any rooms or patients exposed to them. The CDC also urges patients to be aware of the bugs and to ask their health professionals about the risks.