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The 'Nightmare Bacteria' in Your Backyard: CDC Warns of New Germ Spreading Across US

04-07-2018

There's a newer and stronger germ popping up across the US and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this "nightmare bacteria" has an unusual resistance to antibiotics.

"When we talk about 'nightmare bacteria,' what we're talking about are bacteria that are especially difficult to treat," Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, associate director for Healthcare Associated Infection and Prevention Programs at the CDC, said. 

"We either have a very limited number of antibiotics left to treat these infections or in some cases, we don't have any antibiotics at all," he continued. "So they're dangerous from that standpoint. They pose a very serious risk to patients who get these infections and they can also spread."

Health officials have found more than 200 cases of them in the US within the last year. The CDC conducted a first-of-a-kind hunt to see how much of a threat these rare cases are becoming. 

Most people contract it while in the hospital or in nursing homes, especially those who need IVs and other tubes that can get infected.

"Essentially, we found nightmare bacteria in your backyard," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

"These verge on untreatable infections" where the only option may be supportive care — fluids and sometimes machines to maintain life to give the patient a chance to recover, Schuchat said.

The CDC has come up with a containment strategy to prevent the spread of the bug. They say when patients have unusual symptoms they need to be treated for resistant germs quickly. 

The CDC also suggests talking to your doctor if you recently had healthcare in another country. They add that speaking with your physician about preventing infections, taking care of chronic conditions, washing your hands regularly and getting vaccines will stop the spread of the bug. 

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