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Brace Yourselves: Rare Drug Resistant Superbug Found in L.A.

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'Fighting sickness' photo by Jezper via Shutterstock
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Angelenos, prepare yourselves: Health officials are cautioning there's a drug-resistant "superbug" spreading throughout the city.

The specific threat is a bacteria called C.R.E. according to CBS2, and is among the nation-wide "superbugs" that "are resistant to almost all antibiotics, have high mortality rates, and can spread their resistance to other bacteria."

C.R.E. stands for "carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae," notes USA Today.

Where will you find this scary bacteria? Typically in your colon, says Dr. Suman Radhakrishna, the chair of infection control at the California Hospital Medical Center. It causes infections of the bloodstream, urinary tract, and bowel. Particularly vulnerable are those who are already hospitalized, as well as the elderly.

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And boy, do these "superbugs" spread. USA Today points out:

These superbugs are "the biggest threat to patient safety in the hospital that we have," said Costi Sifri, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at the University of Virginia Health System. "Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like anything is slowing their spread."

Now, who/what can we blame? Well, lousy handwashing habits by our health care workers and excessive use of antibiotics, says Radhakrishna.

Locally, the Los Angeles County Department of Health says they first became aware of these infections in 2010, according to CBS2. According to a live report on KTLA, local health officials are focusing on isolating and containing those infected in order to curb its potentially-deadly spread.