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CDC Warns of 'Phantom Menace' Superbug

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A new report from the Center for Disease Control warns of an emerging bacterial superbug nicknamed the 'phantom menace' by scientists.

The superbug comes from a dangerous type of bacteria which is often resistant to antibiotics and has been known kill up to 50 percent of patients who become infected.

What sets the 'phantom menace' apart from its bacterial brethren is that the superbug possesses DNA that allows it to break down antibiotics and it can pass that trait to otherwise normal bacteria found in the body.

Another worrisome aspect of the superbug is that traditional testing by doctors does not include looking for the disease, so an infected patient may not immediately be diagnosed. Thus the bacteria earned the nickname 'phantom menace' by doctors.

"This is a tricky drug-resistant bacteria, and it isn't easily found," CDC Director Thomas Frieden told the Washington Post, "what we're seeing is an assault by the microbes on the last bastion of antibiotics."

So far only 43 people have been infected with the superbug in the United States over the last five years, but a noticeable increase in these cases prompted the CDC to issue their report.


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