Valley Health Care Workers On Lookout for CRE

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TENNESSEE VALLEY (WHNT) – Health care facilities and medical workers across the nation are being told to be on the lookout for bacteria that’s resistant to drugs. While we haven’t seen an outbreak of the super bug here, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are concerned about it in other parts of the country.

CRE stands for Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Some groups of bacteria are good. CRE isn’t. It can be resistant to antibiotics. The CDC is alerting the medical community that we’re seeing a growing number of CRE cases. Keeping it under control can be as simple as washing your hands.

Micheal Estremera is an infection preventionist at Athens Limestone Hospital. She says, “Health care workers and our visitors and patients too, we need to wash our hands before we touch things, before we eat, after we go to the bathroom.”

The staff monitors hand hygiene at the hospital constantly. “Anytime you touch a patient, not only the patient but the patient`s environment, the bed rails, the telephone, the call buttons, all that kind of stuff. They need to be cleaned well,” according to Estremera.

Athens Limestone Hospital hasn’t seen any cases of CRE.  The environmental staff will continue doing what it’s doing to keep the difficult to treat infection at bay. Most of the cases have been found in the northeast and there was a reported outbreak in Florida.