New 'Nightmare' Bacteria Are Popping Up All Over the US

Henrietta Strickland
April 4, 2018

Health officials "keep at it", he said, until the spread of a potentially deadly infection is controlled.

Schuchat compared antibiotic resistance to a spreading fire.

"I was surprised by the numbers we found", said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2 million Americans become infected with germs resistant to antibiotics each year and more than 23,000 die from these infections.

Testing 5,776 isolates of antibiotic-resistant germs from hospitals and nursing homes, the CDC found that about one in four had a gene that helped spread its resistance, while 221 contained an "especially rare resistance gene", she said.

One in 10 screening tests of patients were positive, meaning that the unusual resistance may have spread to other patients and could have continued to spread if left undetected. Unusually drug-resistant bacteria infected 221 people in the United States previous year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on April 3.

CRE refers to bacteria that have developed resistance to carbapenems, a class of powerful antibiotics kept in reserve to be used as a last resort against an otherwise untreatable infection.

There's now no way to stop bugs from becoming resistant. The report offers a containment strategy, which Schuchat said will help "bend the curve or slow the spread of antibiotic resistance".

The report focused on the new and highly resistant germs that have yet to spread widely.

Germs will continuously find ways to resist new and existing antibiotics; stopping new resistance from developing is not now possible.

2 million US clients get infections from antibiotic-resistant germs each year, and 23,000 die from their infection, she stated. Because patients transfer from hospitals and nursing homes, germs can spread across the nation.

"Two million Americans get infections from antibiotic resistance, and 23,000 die from those infections each year", Schuchat said.

Antimicrobial resistance has become an increasing concern in recent years as pathogens have evolved and become more hard to treat. Efforts to develop new types of antibiotics largely came to a halt over the past two decades as drugmakers pursued investments in products with more profitable returns. Still, a variety of resistant germs can be found in every state.

Others in close contact with the infected patient then were tested, and 11 per cent were found to be carrying the same superbugs even though they were not sick.

The CDC approximates that its brand-new containment method might avoid as numerous as 1,600 brand-new infections within 3 years in a single state. Health departments using the approach have conducted infection control assessments and colonization screenings within 48 hours of finding unusual resistance and have reported no further transmission during follow-up over several weeks.

Antibiotics are "a safety net" for people who are receiving cancer treatments or organ transplants, as well as people who are having surgery or are staying in intensive care units, Schuchat explained.

Vital Signs is a report that appears as part of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. But if hospitals follow the protocols set by CDC, they can reduce the spread of infection between people, the CDC says.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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