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Outbreak of 'nightmare superbug' causing a stir

An outbreak in Illinois of what authorities have dubbed a nightmare bacteria is stirring up serious concern.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is a rare strain of bacteria with a fatality rate of almost 50 percent. It's made up of an enzyme that breaks down antibiotics making it very difficult to treat.

Between 2009 and 2013, fewer than 100 cases of the super germ were reportedly seen. Last year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 44 cases traced to a hospital in Chicago.

A doctor from the national institute of health told ABC-affiliated television station WHOI that most cases are found in hospitals and nursing homes and can travel from patient to patient. "It's an extremely potentially dangerous problem but we have a window of opportunity to contain it."

This is the largest outbreak on record of a bacteria with such a high fatality rate.

Illinois officials announced last week that a task force was being formed to deal with the potential spread of the germ.

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andy2601 January 10 2014 at 9:55 PM

What was the name of the hospital in Chicago?

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Connie January 10 2014 at 3:18 PM

Aol is just hurting themselves as I click it off if I have to watch ANOTHER commercial...do they think we are all dummies?

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Mark January 10 2014 at 12:47 PM

I just HAVE to write this... am I the ONLY one that's incredibly annoyed with AOL for forcing us (the USERS) to watch commercials constantly when we click on an article that we want to see? Don't we already get enough commercials on television, that we have to sit by and let AOL swamp us with them too? It used to be that you could at least skip a commercial.. but they've taken that away from us!

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1 reply to Mark's comment
Penny Taylor January 10 2014 at 12:52 PM

No you are not the only one, Mark. I often just get off the page if I am forced to watch a whole commercial before seeing the real content. Why can't AOL do it like YouTube, and give you the opton of only 5 seconds of commercial??

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toco.loco January 10 2014 at 12:33 PM

It just drives me nuts that there isn't more research into things like this and that the results of the little research done is not used. During the Cold War, Russian scientists found viruses in sewage systems that targeted bacteria very specifically. Rather than using chemicals, they could use the viruses that are completely harmless to humans, but lethal to bacteria, to treat infections. We've had access to this information for decades but it isn't developed to benefit humanity. If we know bacteria are becoming resistant to our pharmaceutics why don't we try another route? Oh, wait, if that were to happen then what would the pharmaceutical companies develop? Oh, that's right, it could hurt their profits. Now it makes sense.

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posthuf January 10 2014 at 11:44 AM

So what are the symptoms?
How can it be avoided?
How about some HELPFUL information for once, aol/hp!

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suzelle January 10 2014 at 11:12 AM

Very clever, this bacteria, that has mutated to fight off the very thing that tries to kill it...antibiotics. For all those people who run to the doctor demanding drugs for every little hang nail,, this is what we get in return.

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xrayjenn January 10 2014 at 10:48 AM

Another media driven super bug. Four paragrapghs to cause panic. The advent of antibiotics and the over use of them is what creates these "super bugs". It is nature's way of adjusting and evolving. There are people on this thread complaining I caught this from the hospital that from the doctor. Trust me the numbers of hospital acquired infections has gone down dramatically in the last decade. Do you want to know why? The hospitals are not getting paid for treating them. Any infection acquired during a hospital stay the hospital can not charge to treat it. Do you actually think that the medical field is not doing everything it can to stop the spread of these infections? They effect the bottom line. There are hand washing "police" set up in almost every department at my hospital. If you are seen not using proper hand hygeine you are disciplined and can eventually lose your job.

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msasscts January 10 2014 at 10:41 AM

Has anyone ever noticed the voting processes on these articles? Either the technology is defective, or the voting is rigged.

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suzyvuci January 10 2014 at 10:18 AM

Eveyone should be using hand sanitizors

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1 reply to suzyvuci's comment
me2mc January 10 2014 at 10:55 AM

As an RN, I know that not always do the hand sanitizers work...especially against resistant bacteria. Everyone should wash their hands well.

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kimba327 January 10 2014 at 10:14 AM

Could you please explain or give the symtoms to look for

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