April 27, 2015
A collaboration between Rush University Medical Center and Cook County health officials has dramatically reduced the spread of the superbug known as CRE, a potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The CDC also worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health to put together a database tracking patients diagnosed with CRE, so doctors who treat them are alerted to use extra precautions.
The next step is to determine other health care facilities that could be spreading CRE and test the precautions further, Jernigan said.
“The biggest concern is the lack of antibiotics in the pipeline that would be active against some of these more resistant bugs,” Weinstein said.
“It is resistant of many classes of first-line antibiotics, and it’s growing in incidence,” Jernigan said. “The therapies that are left to us are not optimal. In many cases, we are reaching up and pulling old antibiotics of the shelf that were abandoned before because of toxicities.”
The country’s largest outbreak of CRE was in the Chicago area last year. The CDC identified 44 cases, 38 of them at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
Lutheran General began using a highly toxic gas called EtO to sterilize hard-to-clean instruments in October 2013 and has had no new cases since then.
Read the full article at Chicago Sun Times.