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01/12/24 Public Health Education Topic: CRE

Per the CDC:

General information about CRE

CRE stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales. Enterobacterales are an order of germs, specifically bacteria. Many different types of Enterobacterales can develop resistance, including Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli (E. coli). These bacteria can cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, urinary tract infections, wound infections, and meningitis.


CRE are a major concern for patients in healthcare settings because they are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, which are considered the last line of defense to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. Often, high levels of antibiotic resistance in CRE leave only treatment options that are more toxic and less effective.


Who is most likely to get a CRE infection?

Healthy people usually do not get CRE infections—they are most common in patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities like skilled nursing facilities and long-term acute care hospitals. Patients whose care requires devices like ventilators (breathing machines), urinary (bladder) catheters, or intravenous (vein) catheters, patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics, and patients with weakened immune systems are among those at risk for CRE infections.


How are CRE germs spread?

CRE are usually spread person to person through contact with infected or colonized people, particularly contact with wounds or stool (poop). This contact can occur via the hands of healthcare workers, or through medical equipment and devices that have not been correctly cleaned.




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