CRE stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, germs that cause lethal infections in patients receiving medical care in hospitals, long term acute care facilities, and nursing homes.
In their usual forms, germs from the Enterobacteriaceae family (e.g. E. coli) are a normal part of the human digestive system. However, some of these germs have developed defenses to fight off all or almost all antibiotics we have today.When these germs get into the blood, bladder or other areas where germs don’t belong, patients suffer from infections that are difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat.
While CDC has warned about CRE for more than a decade, new information shows that these germs are now becoming more common. One type of CRE has been detected in medical facilities in 42 states. Even more concerning, this report documents a seven-fold increase in the spread of the most common type of CRE during the past 10 years.