SENATE PASSES HANNON BILL TO REQUIRE ‘NIGHTMARE BACTERIA’ TRACKING
“The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has called Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), the ‘nightmare bacteria,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “The CRE issued a report in March calling for rapid action – I immediately introduced legislation to amend the law to treat CRE as a communicable disease and to require general hospitals to identify, track and report on this disease.”
The CDC is referring to CRE as a “nightmare bacteria,” because our strongest antibiotics are ineffective, leaving patients with potentially untreatable conditions. Currently, only six states require medical facilities to report incidences of CRE. Hannon’s legislation will add New York to this list.
“CRE bacteria are difficult to treat because they are resistant to commonly used antibiotics,” said Hannon. “Some CRE bacteria have become resistant to almost all available antibiotics and can be deadly.”
CRE infections are most commonly seen in sick patients with exposure to health care settings like hospitals and long-term care facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities and long-term acute care hospitals. Patients whose care requires devices like ventilators, urinary catheters, or intravenous catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are among those most at risk for CRE infections.
“Bacteria are spread by person-to-person contact, mostly via hands,” said Hannon. “The CDC has urged doctors, hospital leaders and public health professionals to work together to implement the CDC’s ‘detect and protect’ strategy to stop these infections from spreading. One such measure is the reporting by medical facilities any instances of CRE.”
This legislation responds to the CDC’s suggested strategies by making mandatory reporting of CRE. Cases of CRE should be reported and tracked by the Department of Health to adequately address incidences and ensure appropriate control measures are being taken.
“New York already has systems in place to track and report other communicable diseases and hospital acquired infections, and is in a good position to add CRE to that process,” said Hannon. “By adopting this legislation, New York will join six other state who require medical facilities to report incidences of CRE. By doing so, we can halt the spread of this potentially deadly bacteria.”
This bill now goes to the Assembly.