CRE Superbug Threatening U.S. Cities

CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), an antibiotic-resistant superbug, has hit seven U.S. cities at levels higher than expected. Three of those include major cities, New York City, Atlanta and Baltimore. Meanwhile, low levels have been tracked in Denver, Albuquerque, and Portland, Oreg., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

CRE is uncommon and does not have specific symptoms, however, doctors can usually find suspicions of CRE based on a few problems. These problems include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, sepsis, high fevers, septic shock and organisms that are resistant to antibiotic treatment. Once CRE is suspected, your physician can run blood cultures to see if bacteria is present and then a drug sensitivity test will be performed.

CRE prognosis ranges from fair to poor. If it reaches the bloodstream, 40-50% percent of infected patients die. While this superbug remains rare, the CDC hopes to intervene as much as they can to prevent it from spreading. Treatments for CRE typically include multiple, harsh antibiotics.

With the CRE superbug spreading and flu season beginning, it is important to stay healthy. The best thing to do is build your immune system and try to prevent getting sick. Make sure to wash your hands, bleach toys and do nasal washes twice a day, more if you are feeling sick.