Posted Friday March 8, 2013 --- 4:45 p.m.
CREs are resistant to most antibiotics. According to health officials that's what concerns them. Even more freighting they're already inside you.
" Infections with these are much more difficult to treat. "
According to Gwen Borlaug, Coordinator of the Health Care Infections Program with the Division of Public Health, the bacteria lives in your gut. It doesn't become harmful until it's outside your gut.
" They are resistant to a number of antibiotics and then we're left with very few choices to treat them with. "
Certain CRE infections have a fatality rate approaching 50%. People most at risk include those who already have weakened immune systems or frequently encounter health care facilities like hospitals.
Despite that Borlaug says patients should not avoid going to hospitals.
" Patients shouldn't panic. There are ways that hospitals are able to reduce transmission, they're able to protect patients. So, we don't want you to stop getting your health care just because of this. "
The State of Wisconsin has been tracking CRE infections since 2011.
Since then 25 cases have been reported. Nationally, according to the CDC, CRE infections are becoming more common. 42 states have reported at least one type of CRE infection.
Officials say the best way to avoid CREs is to practice good hygiene.
That includes washing your hands frequently.