Categorized | Colorado News, National News, News

Study to Test Strategy to Fight Superbugs

Some of the most common bacteria in health care facilities are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, often called “nightmare bacteria.” E.Coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae are two common germs that can fall into this category when they become resistant to last-resort antibiotics known as carbapenems. CRE bacteria cause an estimated 600 deaths each year, according to the CDC.

People in hospitals are vulnerable to these bugs, and people in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable. Up to 15 percent of hospital patients and 65 percent of nursing home residents harbor drug-resistant organisms, though not all of them will develop an infection, says Dr. Susan Huang, who specializes in infectious diseases at the University of California, Irvine.

At least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with some type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and about 23,000 die from those infections, according to the CDC.

Hospitals and nursing homes in California and Illinois are testing a surprisingly simple strategy to stop the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of people each year: washing patients with a special soap. Doctors and health care workers in Chicago and Southern California are using the antimicrobial soap chlorhexidine, which has been shown to reduce infections when patients bathe with it.

The efforts – funded with roughly $8 million from the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – are taking place at 50 facilities in those two states.

Read more at National Public Radio

 

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