New Bacteria Raises Concern
by Laura Monteverdi, Reporter
November 29, 2012 7:06 PM
A deadly bacteria known as Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, is raising concerns in the medical community.
Jennifer Hsu in an Infectious Disease Physician at Sanford Health and has been closely studying this 'super bug' which is best known for it's ability to defy even the strongest of drugs.
“What has happened over time with increasing exposure to antibiotics the bacteria have developed ways to evade those antibiotics and they become resist to a certain class of antibiotics,” said Hsu.
In the United States, the bacteria have been found primarily in healthcare facilities and hospitals and are known to prey on the weak.
“Patients who are immune-compromised whether it be from medical treatments, chemotherapy for instance or patients that have had other severe illnesses that place them in the ICU-those would be risk factors,” said Hsu.
CRE infections are already an epidemic in several major cities including New York and Chicago, but Hsu said not to be surprised if we start to see them more frequently in less-populated areas.
“There's no reason to think that we won't see them in South Dakota and they won’t become increasingly common here but really our goal is to head that off before it happens,” said Hsu.
Experts said that there isn't likely to be a vaccine for this type of infection, but they are continually researching ways to prevent it from spreading. While doctors are fighting hard to keep it contained, it may be a battle they are not equipped to win.
"There is absolutely no reason to think that if we don't do a good job with infection control that this is going to stay in a hospital,” said Hsu.
Which may mean this 'super bug' is here to stay,always close-by and always a threat.