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Information on Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

June 13, 2013

  • All outbreaks are reportable in Florida and the Florida Department of Health maintains on call staff 24/7 to respond to calls reporting an outbreak. Staff works diligently to ensure an effective and prompt response to any public health threat/outbreak.
  • Florida's reportable disease rule has been recently updated and beginning June 4, laboratories are now required to submit electronic laboratory records for antimicrobial resistance for certain organisms including CRE. This will allow the Department to better track trends in antimicrobial resistance and share this information with the healthcare community in an effort to provide support in identifying effective treatment options.
  • The Florida Department of Health has been working with hospitals and long-term care facilities through a prevention collaborative network which is focused on multi-drug resistant organisms, including CRE, and C. difficile.
  • The prevention collaborative network allows healthcare facilities to learn and share best practices and has been in effect since 2011.
  • Individuals can help prevent the spread of infections due to multi-drug resistant organisms by taking antibiotics as prescribed and finishing their course of treatment, even if they feel better before taking all of the medicine.
  • If you are a patient in a health care facility or visit someone in a health care facility, remember to wash your hands or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the room and reminding health care workers to perform their hand hygiene prior to and after providing care.

Watch State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong's statement on Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs report shows that antibiotics are being overpowered by germs called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). These germs cause infections that are difficult, and in some cases impossible, to treat, outsmarting even some of the best antibiotics.

What the Florida Department of Health and CDC have been doing:

CDC worked with Florida to stop a year-long CRE outbreak in a long-term acute care hospital. Improved use of CDC recommendations such as educating staff; dedicating staff, rooms, and equipment to patients with CRE; and improving use of gloves and gowns.

Result: The percentage of patients who got CRE at the facility dropped from 44% to 0.

Read more about DOH's Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Program.