(CHICAGO) -- Health officials are worried that a potentially lethal germ called KPC may be spreading fast throughout health care facilities in and around Chicago. It's formed when common bacteria create Klebsiella Pneumoniae Carbapenemase, making them resistant to antibiotics and extremely difficult to treat.
Thirty-seven Chicago health care facilities have reported cases this year. That is a 42 percent increase from last year and has the medical community worried. A survey presented Friday at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America finds that while the number of infections is still low, the increase is sharp. Study co-author Dr. Mary Haydn of Rush University Medical Center says it's especially troublesome because KPC was first reported in Chicago as recently as December 2007.
So far most cases have been limited to nursing homes. Haydn says in addition to making sure health care professionals are careful in handling infected patients, hospitals and nursing homes must work harder to communicate when an infected patient is being transferred.
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