Doctors raise concern about "nightmare" super bug

CRE is a bacteria that has shown to be resistant to antibiotics.
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There is new concern over a dangerous super bug that can't be treated with any drugs.

It could be the plot of a movie - a deadly bacteria that can't be stopped. It's not a movie though, it already exists and the Centers for Disease Control says the problem is getting worse.

The CDC doesn't use the word "nightmare" casually.

But that's exactly what they're calling CRE, a deadly bacteria that's resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics.

"It's resistant to virtually all antibiotics. It invades the blood or it invades tissue, the normal issue of giving someone an antibiotic and curing them becomes very difficult," said Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institute of Health.

Forty-two states, including Indiana, have reported cases.

"We know that once it gets in the blood stream, or in any other end organ that's important, mortality rates approach 50-percent," said Dr. Mark Bochan, Director of Transplant and Infectious Diseases with Saint Vincent Hospital.

Bochan said now is the time for health care facilities to develop plans to deal with a potential CRE outbreak, before the problem gets worse.

"If we start working on it now, we'll be able to contain it in a better fashion than if we let this slide a lot longer," explained Bochan.

A first step to fighting CRE infections, Bochan says, could be very simple.

"Of all the things that we can do to help prevent resistance in general, in particular this CRE, is to wash your hands," he said.

So far, the outbreaks have been contained to hospitals and nursing homes, primarily striking people with compromised immune systems.

The challenge now will be keeping these bacteria from reaching the general population.

The CDC has issued a call to action for the health care community to do just that before it's too late.