Where do superbugs come from? It's humans and our overuse of antibiotics that are responsible for superbugs like CRE invading our world and our bodies, says internal medicine physician Dr. Jorge Rodriguez.
The official name of the deadly superbug that hit UCLA Medical Center this week is carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. Rodriguez, who has authored books about diabetes and health living, explained on TheBlaze radio how CRE is transferred and who ultimately is at fault for its development and growth.
"The more antibiotics a society takes, not necessarily a person, but the more antibiotics out there … what we're killing are bacteria. So, what survives are the bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics that we use," he said.
And that's apparently the case with CRE.
Image source: CDC.gov
The CDC explains the bug this way:
CRE, which stands for Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a part (or subgroup) of Enterobacteriaceae that are difficult to treat because they are resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
According to Rodriguez, CRE's name reveals one of the most worrisome aspects of the bug. It is not only resistant to "commonly used antibiotics" as the CDC states -- it is resistant to the strongest antibiotic currently available today.
The fact that CRE is unfazed by our strongest antibiotics causes a bigger problem down the road.
A patient with CRE is given a course of antibiotics that kills all the bacteria in their bodies except the dangerous ones. "What survives are the bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics that we use," he said. "And since they're the only ones that are living, they reproduce — reproducing what? More bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics."
Image source: CDC.gov
Is CRE something you can contract by being near a person with the disease? The short answer is no, he said..
In the case of the seven patients in California, Rodriguez speculated, "It was probably placed inside them accidentally by these scopes that had not been appropriately decontaminated."
Despite the fact that two of the seven people who came down with CRE, died from it, Rodriguez says we should not panic, "There is no need for alarm. This is not anything that has begun to spread."
List to the full interview with Rodriguez here:
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