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4th Superbug Case in the US Found in Connecticut -- Warning Facts About This Infection

Sep 12, 2016 06:09 AM EDT
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the fourth case of potentially deadly superbug infection in the US from a young girl in Connecticut.

According to the report from CBS Baltimore, a two-year-old girl from Connecticut was diagnosed with a certain strain of E.coli bacteria with sn antibiotic-resistant gene known as mcr-1 last June. This gene is responsible for making the bacteria resistant to colistin, an old drug used for bacteria that can't be treated with other antibiotics.

CDC reported that the girl traveled to the Caribbean for about two weeks to visit friends and relatives. During her stay in the place, she ate chicken and goat meats bought from a live animal market. Two days before coming back to the U.S., the girl developed fever and bloody diarrhea.

"Food has been the most common way humans have acquired this superbug in other places, and the Connecticut case suggests that food is also a possible cause," said Maroya Walters, an epidemiologist at CDC, in a report from Washington Post.

Health officials expect other cases of bacteria with the mcr-1 gene to pop up in the future. All the previous cases of the superbug in the U.S. have been treated with other kinds of antibiotics.

However, scientists are alarmed about the possibility of the bacteria with mcr-1 to pass their antibiotic-resistance gene to other bacteria that are already resistant to all kinds of antibiotics, creating a deadly and incurable superbug.

The first case of bacteria with mcr-1 gene was reported in food, animal, and patient isolates from China in 2015. Since its discovery, cases of bacteria with the mcr-1 gene have been reported in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and North America.

Bacteria resistant to antibiotics have been a long problem in the U.S. At least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics in the country each year, including 23,000 people that died as the direct result of bacterial infections.

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