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Work During Outbreak of Antibiotic Resistant Infections Recognized

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

March 08, 2013

March 8, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

~ DOH efforts reduce infected patient percentage from 44 to 0 ~

TALLAHASSEE—This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted the Department of Health’s (DOH) work during a 2010 outbreak of antibiotic resistant infections within their latest Vital Signs Report, focused on Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Each month, the CDC highlights a preventable disease to help keep the public aware of potential health risks.

The CDC’s Vital Signs fact sheet features DOH’s efforts made in 2010 related to an outbreak of CRE within a long-term acute care facility in Pinellas County. The Department, in partnership with the CDC, reduced the percentage of patients who contracted CRE at the facility from 44 percent to 0. This significant reduction was achieved through a yearlong process of educating staff, improving use of gloves and gowns, and dedicating staff, rooms and equipment whenever possible exclusively to CRE patients.

According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report issued March 5, 2013, CRE has surfaced in health-care facilities across the nation and caused difficult-to-treat infections associated with high mortality. The report indicated that CRE has increased from 1.2% in 2001 to 4.2% in 2011 and that 92% of CRE cases involved patients who have spent a significant amount of time in a health care facility. In addition, the report indicated that CRE is highly resistant to most antibiotics, and infections resulting from CRE are associated with mortality rates close to 50%.

State Surgeon General and Secretary for Health Dr. John Armstrong urged Floridians to be aware of this concern. “While CRE infection is serious, it is not an imminent threat to the general population,” said Dr. Armstrong. “Health care professionals are trained to take standard precautions to guard against the spread of all disease. It is important that patients and visitors in health care facilities remain aware of the need to protect themselves from the spread of germs.”

Further comments regarding CRE from Dr. Armstrong are available via the Department’s YouTube page and can be downloaded for broadcast. Additional DOH information related to CRE can be found on our Department’s Online NewsroomOnline Newsroom. For additional information regarding CRE, please see the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and the CDC’s Fact Sheet.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For news story ideas, interviews, videos and more from DOH Communications visit the DOH Online Newsroom.

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.


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