A new type of drug-resistant germ is spreading across the country, raising eyebrows at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga., and at hospitals across the country.
The bacteria simply known as CRE (or carbapenemase resistant Enterobacteriaceae) has become resistant to most antibiotics, with the CDC citing one study where up to 50 percent of cases of patients with the bacteria become fatal.
Locally, Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill reports five cases patients infected of the bacteria since 2011.
Statistics from other area hospitals were not immediately available Thursday night.
Eleanor Raymes of the Piedmont’s Office of Infection Prevention and Control says when the bacteria is identified by a laboratory, careful precautions are put into place to protect other patients, staff and visitors.
Raymes says once the lab is notified of an incident, quick steps are put into place that go beyond typical precautions, including the strict monitoring of invasive tools and monitoring of cross-contamination though an equipment cleaning program.
Raymes says in addition to state-mandated steps to prevent the spread of the bacteria, simple steps can take place outside the hospital setting to protect yourself.
LINK: CDC’s Healthcare Associated Infections page: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)