US warns over deadly, hard-to-treat bacteria


WASHINGTON—A deadly strain of hard-to-treat bacteria is spreading in US health facilities, posing a particular risk to the nation’s most vulnerable patients, authorities said in a report on Tuesday.

Health officials said the bacteria has proved stubbornly resistant to treatment with antibiotics, making some infections impossible to cure.

Up to half of all patients who get blood stream infections from the bacteria die, health officials said.

The report about the lethal bacteria—carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE)—was issued by Vital Signs, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“CRE are nightmare bacteria. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work, and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden.

Enterobacteriaceae are a family of more than 70 bacteria, including E. coli, that normally live in the digestive system.

Some of the bacteria have become resistant over the years to antibiotics known as carbapenems—often seen as the medication of last resort when treating bacteria.

Officials said the bacteria sometimes gets passed along from the hands of medical workers, creating life-threatening infections in patients whose health already is compromised, and even in otherwise healthy people.

Most at risk are people receiving significant medical care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes for the elderly and acutely ill.

Vital Signs reported that almost 200 hospitals and long-term acute care facilities treated at least one patient infected with these bacteria during the first half of last year.

The malady is also highly infectious: Over the past decade, the CDC has tracked one type of CRE from a single health care facility to health care facilities in at least 42 states.

Frieden urged doctors and public health workers to put in place a “detect and protect” strategy and stop the lethal infections from spreading.

Health officials said other recommendations to avoid transmitting the bacteria include “using antibiotics more wisely” and creating dedicated wards, staff and equipment within hospitals exclusively for patients with CRE.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • tea tinio

    nagpakawala na naman ang US ng bagong sakit.

    para bumili tayo sa kanila ng gamot. luma na yan.

    iexport na lang namin  sa inyo ang may may malalang tb na multidrug resistant.

  • jolly_baby

    Onte na lang zomby apocalypse na. If that news is true, then its even dangerous than HIV. 

  • WeAry_Bat

    Thus the reason why despite labor problems, the US will still make a quota for Philippine nurses.  The unwritten reason as frontliner for diseases.

  • Marcelo Mendoza

    Sana magkameron niyang bacteria na yan sina Imelda Marcos and family…Arroyo family….Enrile and Estrada family

    • JanB

      Di na kailangan na magkaroon…Ikaw naman…sila na yong malaking bacteria na di mamatay agad!!! Di ba? 

  • virgoyap

    I think the best way to prevent this dangerous bacteria to enter our body is to strengthen our immune system by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and some nutritious foods.

  • KonsensyaNgBayan

    Human made bacteria, results of too much cloning and stem cells studies that got out of hand. The Pandora’s Box is opened and now released the wrath of nature. Prepare for more doom as this is just the beginning…

    • A B

       It is not human made bacterium. They are naturally occurring bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics due to misuse and abuse of antibiotics.

      Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections and there are certain antibiotics for specific strains. Now, if one  takes antibiotic even for viral infection, the bacteria starts to develop resistance from the antibiotics used due to ignorance of people from the proper use.

    • Nelson Pineda

      dyos ko, mag-aral ka naman ng konting microbiology para alam mo kung ang sinasabi mo.  cloning, by international law and WHO standard, cannot be use to create deadly bacteria because that will violate the non-proliferation of biological weapons by the UN. As stem cell is about stem cell it self and not all come from aborted fetuses. it’s one of the most promising medical procedure to date, next only to organ transplantation. Stem cell research does not give birth to frankenbacteria you’re talking about. And about what you refer to as” human made bacteria” there are plenty ways you can do that. Many of them are for biological weapon but some bacterias mutate due to human lack of knowledge like you and simple carelessness. That’s why if you were prescribed with anti-biotics be sure to follow proper dosage to prevent mutation. Prayers are not enough, we still have to think critically.

  • motorcyclemama

    Genetically engineered na yan siguro. Warfare.

    • A B

       hindi po manmade/gen engineered yan… yan po ay epekto ng walang pakundangan gamit ng antibiotic ng mga tao, di na tumatalab ang ordinaryong antibiotics.

      ganyan din sa pilipinas kapag nagbibili ang mga pasyente ng antibiotic kahit walang reseta ng doktor. sana hindi na umabot sa ganyan.

      • WeAry_Bat

         at hindi tinuloy ng 1 week gamit, pag 3 days pa lang walang symptomas kala nila ok na.

        kung magka-sipon, antibiotics agad.  wala namang gamot sa sipon kundi pahinga.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos