Lifestyle & Belief

CRE superbug cases rise in the United States


New research shows the CRE superbug, which is becoming more common in the US, could take a full year to go away.


Joe Raedle

People who are infected with a dangerous superbug may have to wait a full year before they recover, new research shows.

A study conducted by Israeli researchers sheds disturbing light on the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) superbug.

In the study published on Wednesday, the researchers looked at 97 patients who had tested positive for CRE. It took the patients an average of 387 days before they finally tested negative for the bacteria.

The research comes just a few weeks after the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the CRE superbug is becoming more common.

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While it's still rare, unusual forms of CRE have been on the rise in the US, with 15 cases reported since July of last year.

"This increase highlights the need for US healthcare providers to act aggressively to prevent the emergence and spread of these unusual CRE organisms," the CDC posted.

CREs are part of a family of drug-resistant germs that are showing up in growing numbers in US hospitals. The CRE superbug is named for its ability to resist powerful carbapenem antibiotics, NBC reported. Some hospitals are taking extra precautions and testing people for the CRE superbug. Many people who are infected with it might feel healthy and not realize they are carriers.

“The major concern is that an undiagnosed carrier may be admitted to hospital for totally unrelated reasons, and subsequently and unwittingly pass his CRE to other patients,” a researcher told NBC.