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Drug-Resistant 'Super Bug' Hits LA County Hospitals, Nursing Homes

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A deadly drug-resistant bacteria is spreading to more patients in nursing and long-term care facilities in Los Angeles County, according to local health officials.

KNX 1070's John Brooks reports a study conducted by the Department of Public Health has found over 350 cases throughout the county, primarily in elderly patients.


Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease expert at Harbor UCLA Medical Center says there is no current teatment for CRKP bacteria — and there might not be any in the future either.

Nurse in nursing home takes care of elderly man in wheelchair
County health officials warn the elderly are especially at risk of CRKP infections. (Getty Images)

"There's been a complete collapse in the development of new antibiotics over the last decade...and in the next decade there isn't going to be anything that becomes available that's going to be able to treat these bacteria," said Spellberg.

Medical expert Dr. David Baron of Primary Caring in Malibu cautions hospital visitors that there's no need to panic, but advises people visiting their loved ones to examine the standards of the intensive care units.


Officials say that so far only six percent of the so-called "super bug" cases in the county were found in hospitals.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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