Hard to Kill: Superbugs in Circulation

CRE tops the list of troubling antibiotic resistant bacteria, but it's not the only superbug that worries health officials.

More than 180 patients may have been exposed to the drug-resistant superbug called CRE at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center, reported the

Los Angeles Times

. Two patients have died. The hospital is notifying patients who were exposed to a medical scope that's difficult to disinfect. CRE is deadly in 40 to 50 percent of patients. CRE tops the list of troubling antibiotic resistant (ABR) bacteria that can infect patients, but it's not the only superbug prompt the concern of health experts.

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A colorized scanning depicts a number of E. coli bacteria. According to the CDC, there are 73,000 cases of E. coli infection and 61 deaths occurring in the United States each year.

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Above, a radiographer in London reviews an abnormal chest X-ray that suggests active tuberculosis. TB kills more than a million people a year, and multiple strains are becoming drug resistant. Even when treated for multi-drug resistant strains, which can take two years, only about half of patients survive, Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization,

told ABC News


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Drug-resistant gonorrhoeae (

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

) is considered an "urgent threat" by the CDC. The STD is typically treatable, but a new strain does not respond to available antibiotics.

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Bacteria known as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant

Staphylococcus aureus

) can cause skin diseases and pnuemonia. This strain of staph bacteria is resistant to antibiotics used to treat regular staph infections.

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Clostridium difficile

(or C. diff) causes severe, infectious diarrhea, typically during or shortly after a course of antibiotics. Cases in the UK and the United States are on the increase, and can result in serious disease and death, according to the

National Institutes of Health

. C. diff infection causes 14,000 deaths in the United States alone.

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