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Action Needed Now to Halt Spread of Deadly Bacteria

Action needed now to halt spread of deadly bacteria

Data show more inpatients suffering infections from bacteria resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics

A family of bacteria has become increasingly resistant to last-resort antibiotics during the past decade, and more hospitalized patients are getting lethal infections that, in some cases, are impossible to cure.  The findings, published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs report, are a call to action for the entire health care community to work urgently – individually, regionally and nationally – to protect patients. During just the first half of 2012, almost 200 hospitals and long-term acute care facilities treated at least one patient infected with these bacteria.    

The bacteria, Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), kill up to half of patients who get bloodstream infections from them. In addition to spreading among patients, often on the hands of health care personnel, CRE bacteria can transfer their resistance to other bacteria within their family. This type of spread can create additional life-threatening infections for patients in hospitals and potentially for otherwise healthy people. Currently, almost all CRE infections occur in people receiving significant medical care in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, or nursing homes. Read more.

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