Superbad superbugs have scientists on high alert.
More than 200 cases of “nightmare bacteria” with new or rare antibiotic-resistant genes have popped up in 27 states scattered around the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers are working to stop them from spreading, according to the report released Tuesday.
“We are working to get in front of them before they do become common,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said Tuesday at a news conference, Live Science reported.
“We have data showing an aggressive approach works” to halt the spread of these new threats, Schuchat added.
More than 2 million Americans get an antibiotic-resistant infection each year, and 23,000 die from these infections, according to the CDC.
Researchers are aggressively striving to get the upper hand on the germs through identification, tracking and containment efforts by setting up an Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network across the country.
“CDC estimates show that even if only 20% effective,” Schuchat said, “the containment strategy can reduce the number of nightmare bacteria cases by 76% over three years in one area,” CNN reports.
Individuals can do their part to stem antibiotic resistance by keeping hands clean and disinfecting cuts, the CDC recommends. People are uruged to tell their doctors if they recently had health care in another country.