Centra Officials Address New Superbug
Lynchburg, VA - The CDC has dubbed it the newest super bug. It's called CRE, short for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceaea; a bacteria immune to virtually all antibiotics and popping up in hospitals nation-wide.
Centra's Director of Infection Prevention says the bacteria have been around hospitals for years.
Only recently has it become so immune to conventional antibiotics.
Centra officials say the very small number of patients found with the bacteria are placed in isolation and monitored very carefully.
They did not disclose a specific number of patients with the super bug, but say it should not be a concern for the public at large.
If you visit a Centra facility, or any hospital for that matter, you are not at immediate risk.
As a precaution however, officials say it is always important to wash your hands, especially when around others who are sick. And in the case of CRE, taking the fully prescribed amount of your antibiotic when you get sick can make all the difference.
"If you're prescribed an antibiotic and people don't finish the whole prescription, that tends to give organisms a chance to identify, oh this is an antibiotic, and I'm going to do something so I can survive if I see it the next time around" said Centra's Infection Prevention Director, Diane Jones.
CRE is not as well-known as its more common bacteria counter-part, the staph infection, MRSA; however, it can be just as deadly.
The CDC is not requiring all hospitals to monitor CRE cases. Centra officials say they've taken that responsibility upon themselves.