What constitutes a “nightmare” to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection? It is a family of bacteria that cannot be treated with our most powerful antibiotics and kills half of those infected by it! Even scarier, these Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) can transfer their strength against antibiotics to OTHER bacteria. YES!
The CDC director, Tom Frieden said in a statement, “Our strongest antibiotics do not work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections. Doctors, hospital leaders and public health officials must work together now to implement CDC’s ‘detect and protect’ strategy and stop these infections from spreading.”
And not just from spreading in hospitals, but also from getting into the community. The CRE infections so far have been confined to health-care facilities.
Overuse and improper use of antibiotics used over the years, both in the medical community and the livestock industry, has led to an increase in the number of bacteria that are drug-resistant. Doctors are getting better at proper use of antibiotics, but they could do more. The live stock industry could be doing A LOT more. At least 80% of the antibiotics used annually in the U.S. are used routinely in livestock to promote growth. The FDA has acknowledged for years this threat to public health but the agency has only banned one type of antibiotic in livestock. In my opinion, the government needs to do more to limit or ban the use of antibiotics in livestock.
Each year, hospital-acquired infections sicken 1.7 million and kill 99,000 people in the U.S. While up to 50% of patients with CRE bloodstream infections die, simular antibiotic-susceptible bacteria kill about 20% of bloodstream-infected patients.
Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday March 12 at 4:30est, to learn more from Dr. Lauren and Linda Raileanu, on the “Wellness 41 Show'” on WCHE 1520am.