Report: Deadly CRE superbug is spreading in U.S. hospitals

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

July 30, 2014

A disturbing new report says that cases of a contagious and deadly bacterial infection known as CRE increased five-fold in community hospitals from 2008 to 2012 in the Southeastern U.S., according to a report from CNBC.

The report, which was published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, was conducted at 25 community hospitals in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia from January 2008 through December 2012. While the report found only 305 patients with CRE, the report’s authors expressed concern that CRE infections are under-reported in healthcare facilities.

CRE, or Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, is an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that usually strikes people in hospitals, nursing homes and other health centers, according to the CDC. Death rates from the disease are as high as 50% and it usually affects those who are on devices such as respirators and catheters.