Fighting Deadly Superbugs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

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Fighting Deadly Superbugs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning about the rise of a so-called "nightmare bacteria" in U.S. hospitals. The director of the CDC calls the Carbapenen-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae -- or CRE -- bacteria a triple threat. They are resistant to almost all antibiotics, they can transfer their invincibility to other bacteria and they are deadly. Infection with CRE has a fatality rate as high as 50 percent. So far, these infections are still relatively rare. They’ve only been seen in hospitals and long-term care facilities. But the fear is that they could soon to spread to the wider community, and the proportion of drug-resistant bacteria has quadrupled in the last decade. Diane and her guests discuss the rise of superbugs and how public health officials are trying to stop their spread.

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