Superbug spreading across the country, including Arizona

A deadly, drug resistant superbug is now getting national attention as it spreads across the country including in Arizona.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are pathogens that have emerged in the United States as a serious public health threat. They are resistant to almost all drugs, difficult to treat, and are associated with high death rates (up to 40% in some studies).

Jason Lempp, with the Arizona Department of Health Services, said those infected are almost always patients in hospitals or nursing homes.

Lempp said CRE is not airborne and instead is a bacterial infection.

It can easily spread if medical equipment is not properly cleaned or if medical staff does not wash their hands or change their gloves.

The CDC notes on its website, that CRE is not a nationally reportable or notifiable disease. Therefore, there is not a requirement to report to CDC and therefore we may not know the true number of infections caused by these organisms in the US (only those voluntarily reported to CDC).

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