CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A new strain of Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteria, or CRE, is the new superbug this season.
It's a bacteria that is resistant to the typical antibiotics that doctors use to treat bacterial infections and it could be deadly.
According to the Centers For Disease Control, CRE kills up to 50 percent of patients who become infected.
Cases have been reported in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
"This is concerning because these bacteria are now being seen out in the community so they can be picked up by people who are not normally
in a hospital setting," explains Doctor Ankita Desai, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.
Desai says there are no symptoms for CRE. You may not even know you have it unless a culture is tested in a lab and then a string of different antibiotics are used to determine if the bacteria is resistant.
"Bacteria that may cause a urinary tract infection or blood stream infection or phenomena may be a CRE which is a resistant organism," Desai said.
Desai says another problem is that there are antibiotic shortages, that newer, stronger antibiotics are not being made fast enough.
Experts say it's always good practice, especially this time of year, to always wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs.