The germs themselves spread from person to person, often on the hands of doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.
The CDC said the spread of the germs can be controlled with proper precautions and better practices. Standard infection control precautions include washing hands and dedicating staff, rooms and equipment to the care of patients with CRE. Prescribing antibiotics wisely can significantly reduce the problem.
Patients who are hospitalized can, and should, ask their doctors and nurses to wash their hands before touching them, the officials said. And patients should not always demand antibiotics for their illnesses.
“Not all fevers require antibiotics. The more we use antibiotics, the more we encourage the spread of antibiotic resistance,” Frieden said.