Outbreak of "Nightmare Bacteria" in Illinois causes worry

By WEEK Producer

January 8, 2014 Updated Jan 9, 2014 at 11:48 AM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- There is worry about an outbreak in Illinois of the so-called "nightmare bacteria".

It's called "CRE", an extremely dangerous super-germ.

CRE is rare. Since 2009, only 97 cases of the super-germ had been seen. That was up until 2013.

But last year, 44 cases were traced to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in suburban Chicago.

It's the largest outbreak on record of a bacteria which has a fatality rate close to fifty percent.

"So it's extremely potentially dangerous problem, but we have a window of opportunity to contain it," Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Health.

Most cases of CRE are found in hospitals and nursing homes, where the drug-resistant germ can travel from patient to patient.

The Illinois Department of Health is now forming a task force to deal with the potential spread of CRE.

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