Superbug moving through hospitals, nursing homes - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Superbug moving through hospitals, nursing homes

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A Nasty, often deadly, anti-biotic resistant "nightmare" bacteria is spreading through hospitals and nursing homes across the country. 

The Center's for Disease Control saying if carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or "CRE", is spread and not contained soon, even common infections could be untreatable.

Hundreds of confirmed cases have been reported in cities like New York, LA and Chicago.

Cleveland's MetroHealth Medical Center's Chief Medical Officer, however, says for the most part, they are beating the bug.

Dr. Alfred Connors told 19 Action News, "They're right to be concerned. We see these things here and we take it very seriously."

The CDC is calling the superbug a triple threat.  Antibiotic resistant, with high mortality rate, CRE can spread their resistance to other bacteria.

Connors says out of 30 thousand patients admitted to Metro in 2012, 20 had a positive superbug culture.  Not all got sick with it.

"It's right now on a relatively small percentage.  Really unusual for us to see them but we do see them.", said Connors.

The fact the superbug is still relatively rare at MetroMedical Health Center, while other hospitals nationwide are seeing an increase, is no accident. Connors has implemented a triple defense, of sorts, to this triple threat

First, patients testing positive for the superbug are immediately isolated

Second, hospital staff is under strict instructions to "wash in, wash out".

Thirdly, they have implemented an "antibiotic stewardship program" which has reduced resistant organisms.

Connors explained, "If we keep you on broad spectrum antibiotics too long it increases the chance you'll develop these resistant bugs. Since we've put all these things in place we've actually seen numbers decrease over the last 3-4 years."

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