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In this Medical Dispatch, I want to talk a little about Influenza, also known as the Flu. The flu and the common cold is the most infectious virus out there, infecting millions every year.

So we need to know more about it. What are the symptoms, treatments and when to seek medical advice from our doctors.

 

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Back in December 2016, Six people in Colorado became infected with a "nightmare" superbug that until now, has mostly been limited to people in hospitals, according to a new report. The new cases suggest the superbug may have spread outside of health care facilities.

 

The superbug is known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, a family of bacteria that are difficult to treat because they are resistant to powerful antibiotics. So far, nearly all cases of CRE infections have been seen in people who stay at a health care facilities, or who have been treated with certain medical procedures or devices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

But the six people in the new report had not stayed in a health care facility for at least a year before they contracted the infection. They had not recently undergone surgery or dialysis, either, and hadn't received any invasive devices, such as having a catheter or feeding tube inserted — all of which can be risk factors for CRE infections, the report said.

 

Thus, the six cases appear to be "community-associated" CRE infections, meaning the patients may have picked up these bacteria from somewhere in their everyday lives, outside of a health care setting.

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'Nightmare Bacteria' Require Old and New Weapons.

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"Superbug" bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics have the potential to create a nightmare scenario for modern medicine, but experts are hopeful that doctors will be able to slow the spread of these scary infections, by both traditional means and new innovations.

Recently, a Los Angeles hospital announced that more than 100 patients treated there had potentially been exposed to CRE, or carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics. The bacteria appear to have contaminated a piece of medical equipment used at the facility called an endoscope, which is a flexible tube that doctors use to view the digestive tract. Seven patients at the hospital were infected with CRE after they underwent an endoscopy with the device.

Endoscopies are generally considered to be low-risk procedures, but two of the patients died from their infections, the hospital said.

As antibiotic-resistant bacteria like CRE become more common, they threaten the safety of modern medicine, because they can make routine procedures more risky, experts told Live Science.