TODAY

TODAY   |  March 07, 2013

Deadly ‘superbug’ infecting hospitals across US

The CDC is calling CRE, a deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a nightmare, as it has infected hospitals in 42 states. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports on the outbreak, which has so far been contained to hospitals and nursing homes.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> story. let us begin in the next half hour with a call to urgent action to stop the spread of a nightmare super bug showing up on some hospitals. nbc chief nancy snyderman has more.

>> reporter: the cdc doesn't casually use the word "nightmare" but exactly what they're calling cre, a super bug resistant to an antibiotic of last resort. 42 states, 4% of short stay hospitals and 18% of long term care facilities have reported problems. so far, the infections have been contained to hospitals and nursing homes, infecting the severely ill. the fear and challenge is to keep these bacteria from reaching the general population .

>> it's resistant to nearly all antibiotics. the normal issue of giving someone an antibiotic and curing them becomes very difficult.

>> that's a real concern because the pharmaceutical industry is focusing on diseases like obesity and alzheimer's and there really aren't any antibiotics in the pipeline.

>> last year, at the national institutes of health , it affected 18 people and six died and the alarm was sounded. the hospital in new york is accepting all patients and separating them. and they find they unknowingly infect patients into their institution. since they could make common ailments like de-rhea and new mexi mexico -- dee iarrhea and pneumonia untreatable, we do have to contain it. nancy snyderman , new york.