Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 13, 2013

Hospitals taking “super bug” precautions

Bacteria is resistant to most antibiotics.

(Continued)

Kokomo —

Roles said people with pre-existing conditions, a weakened immune system or fighting another infection are at the highest risk.

The CDC said CRE causes a variety of diseases from pneumonia to urinary tract infections, to serious bloodstream or wound infections.

Roles said the hospital has antibiotics that could fight CRE and the staff works to determine which antibiotic is effective.

“The most important part is hand washing,” she said.

Dr. Carl Kuenzli, a doctor of internal medicine at Community Howard Regional Health Systems, said the hospital has not seen a CRE case.

“We would rather keep it out of the community,” he said.

Kuenzli said a lot of bacteria is becoming resistant to a lot of antibiotics.

“It is attacking people where the immune system is already weakened,” he said.

Kuenzli agreed that appropriate hand washing is the best defense in contracting or spreading CRE.

Ken Severson, spokesman for the Indiana State Health Department, said because CRE is not a reportable condition or disease, no data on the number of cases in Indiana is available.

He said the Health Department is considering how to conduct surveillance on CRE, but hasn’t been finalized.

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