Skip to main content

'Nightmare bacteria' still rare, but on the rise

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A drug-defying bacteria known as CRE is on the rise in U.S. hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control warned this week, and the problem is worsening in Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports.

"These are nightmare bacteria that present a triple threat," said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA Today reported. "They're resistant to nearly all antibiotics. They have high mortality rates, killing half of people with serious infections. And they can spread their resistance to other bacteria."

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae has appeared in medical centers in 42 states. CRE has appeared in 4 percent of U.S. medical centers in the first half of 2012, a CDC fact sheet says. That rate of infection might seem low, but it has risen fourfold in just the last decade, the Los Angeles Times noted.

The number of patients in Minnesota infected with CRE more than doubled from 44 in 2011 to 90 last year, Kristin Shaw, an epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health, told the Pioneer Press.

Before 2009, there hadn't been a single case of CRE infection reported in Minnesota, the newspaper reports.

CRE can attack the body in various ways, including in the bloodstream, soft tissues, the urinary tract. It thrives in hospitals, typically taking hold in patients often via ventilators, catheters or other equipment handled by medical caregivers moving from patient to patient, the Los Angeles Times noted.

Reuters reports that the germs can easily pass their antibiotic resistance – contained in a speck of genetic material – to other kinds of germs, making additional kinds of bacteria potentially untreatable as well, CDC said.

But the spread of CRE can be prevented, and the CDC has offered guidelines to U.S. medical centers. The CDC's director this week tweeted:

Next Up

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.

covid

COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Related

A 'nightmare bacteria' has a MN doctor's attention

These bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics.