(AP) - According to the CDC, deadly, antibiotic-resistant "nightmare bacteria" are spreading through U.S. hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes.
"These are nightmare bacteria that present a triple threat," CDC director Thomas Frieden says. "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."
These germs are called arbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and while their infections are relatively uncommon, the results are often devastating.
According to the CDC, if CRE invades the blood, bladder, or other areas where germs aren't supposed to be, "patients suffer from infections that are difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat."
While CRE is nothing new, it is becoming more common. Hospitals in 42 states have seen one type of CRE, and the spread of the most common type of the germ has increased seven-fold over the past decade.