Infections from a group of bacteria called CRE are rising dramatically at hospitals across the nation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says CRE bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics over the past decade, leaving infected patients no good treatment options.
So far, 42 states have reported CRE infections. Arizona health officials are still working to identify the types of CRE locally.
"We know that these infections are very lethal," said Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. "Among the patients who get serious infections with the CRE bacteria, they get them in their bloodstream for example, roughly half of those patients may die."
The CDC says during the first half of last year, almost 200 healthcare facilities treated at least one infected patient. The people who are most at risk are patients in intensive care or those receiving chemotherapy or organ transplants.
CRE infections are still relatively uncommon. But the CDC says hospitals need to act now to prevent the problem from getting bigger.
"It's careful attention to washing your hands, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wearing gowns and gloves when you are caring for these patients, cleaning equipment carefully," Srinivasan said.
Health experts say identifying which patients have the bacteria and making sure healthcare workers don't inadvertently spread it from patient to patient are two key steps to take.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, September 14 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-09-14 20:45:53 GMT
North Las Vegas police are investigating a murder. Sgt. Chrissie Coon says 9-1-1 dispatch received a call Saturday night from a family member, saying they found the 52-year-old deceased woman inside herMore >
North Las Vegas Police are investigating after a woman was found dead inside her apartment.More >
Sunday, September 14 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-09-14 16:32:14 GMT
Trooper Loy Hixson says the occupants in a double fatal, two-car crash Saturday night were related. Nevada Highway Patrol says two people are dead after a two vehicle crash Saturday night. The accidentMore >
NHP Trooper Loy Hixson says the occupants in a double fatal, two-car crash Saturday night were related.More >
Sunday, September 14 2014 12:59 PM EDT2014-09-14 16:59:53 GMT
North Las Vegas police report a bicyclist was hit and killed Saturday morning around 7 a.m. near the intersection of Lake Mead Boulevard and North 5th Street. Police say a man died at the scene. ThroughMore >
Police say a bicyclist has died after illegally running through a North Las Vegas intersection. More >
Saturday, September 13 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-13 21:41:27 GMT
Metro police Lt. James Mizusaki says a stabbing occurred before 1 p.m. Saturday near West Washington Ave. and North Jones Blvd. Mizusaki tells FOX5, a man was walking down the street and saw another manMore >
Metro police say a man tried to steal a bike while the rider was on the bicycle.More >
Wednesday, September 10 2014 12:56 PM EDT2014-09-10 16:56:06 GMT
The owner of a Las Vegas makeup business said she has been dogged by questions and harassment over the businesses name, which is also the identity of a radical Islamic group.More >
The owner of a Las Vegas makeup business said she has been dogged by questions and harassment over the businesses name, which is also the identity of a radical Islamic group that has been responsible for terror activity in Iraq.More >