CRE: a New Antibiotic-Resistant Superbug

Senior man in hospital bed holding wife's handThere is a new antibiotic-resistant superbug on the loose and health care officials are worried that if it decides to infiltrate areas outside of hospitals, it will be truly unstoppable.

On October 5th, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported alarming findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to U.S. health officials, there is a new antibiotic-resistant bacterium called Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacea (CRE) on the rise. CRE was first discovered in 2001, but a 2-year surveillance of 7 cities shows the new superbug multiplying at a rapid pace, and it’s infecting lives across the nation. Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York City had higher than expected levels of CRE, and all 7 cities, including Denver, Albuquerque, and Portland, were home to active cases of CRE infection. CDC medical officer Dr. Alexander Kallen estimates that 50% of CRE infections lead to death if they go so far as to infect the bloodstream.

Most cases of CRE are contracted in the hospital. And its victims are a median age of 66.

“We’re seeing more and more patients in the community with an E. coli kidney infection that we have no oral therapy to treat,” said Dr. Mary Hayden, an associate professor of pathology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “If CRE gets into the community and starts causing regular old urinary tract infections in otherwise healthy people, it will have a significant impact because we don’t have agents to treat those things.”

Just One of Many…

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are a global problem, and one that threatens to overturn the medical advancements and gains in longevity that have increased exponentially since the introduction of penicillin in 1928. CRE bacteria are resistant to drugs because they produce an enzyme that breaks down antibiotics, rendering conventional treatments ineffective.

CRE infections are still low compared to the onslaught of MRSA and c. difficile bacteria, which threatens its victims with a potentially deadly bacterium that can destroy the digestive systems of people who have been exposed heavily to antibiotics.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is the perfect example of the virulent nature of antibiotic resistance. MRSA used to only be a threat to hospital patients, but a newer form of MRSA has evolved and is now infecting healthy people outside of the hospital as well. The superbug MSRA is a type of staph bacterium that kills more Americans each year than emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide COMBINED! And CRE is becoming more common in a much shorter amount of time.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if we continue to use antibiotics at this rate, the medications we have come to depend on will no longer work, in effect taking us back to the Stone Age, when every infection was deadly.

Results from a recent survey of doctors across the nation showed that 85% of doctors polled had treated patients with multi-drug resistant infections in the past year, and over 33% of these patients died or suffered from severe complications as a result of these superbugs.

Reduce your exposure to antibiotics by using regular soap and water to wash your hands, by eating meat untreated with antibiotics, and by using natural methods to defeat bacterial bugs.