'Nightmare Bacteria' Found in Wisconsin Hospitals
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GREEN BAY - A new bacteria has infected patients in at least 17 hospitals throughout Wisconsin, and it has some local hospitals taking precautions.
It's called CRE, but the CDC is calling it "nightmare bacteria", because it has grown resistant to some of the strongest antibiotics. Reports show up to half of patients who are infected with it die.
"As bacteria becomes more resistant to the antibiotics we have, that's where they become more dangerous," says Bellin Infection Preventionist Carol Bess.
Bess says Bellin Hospital has been closely monitoring public health alerts tracking the bacteria in our state.
"They've been very much up on what's going on with this type of bacteria and wanting to watch what happens in the state of Wisconsin," she said.
Wanda Borche has been visiting a friend at Bellin Hospital. She says she's been carrying Lysol wipes after hearing about the 'superbug'.
"You're afraid to even touch a doorknob -- you might get something that way," she said.
So far, the bacteria has not shown up at Bellin. But if it does, doctors have a plan.
"We would put them in what we call contact precautions, so caregivers coming into the room caring for a patient that has an infection with this bacteria would put on a gown and gloves to help prevent the spread to other patients," said Bess.
Physicians say the risk of getting this bacteria is highest for people getting complex or long-term care in hospitals or nursing homes. They also say the best way to protect yourself -- is by washing your hands.