A so-called “nightmare bacteria” that kills nearly half of its victims has been found in a wastewater treatment plant in Southern California, and sewage plants do not seem capable of killing it.
“Researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency recently found something in a Los Angeles sewage plant that should not be in a sewage plant. Amid millions of gallons of raw sewage that Southern Californians spew into the sewer plants every day, there was a strain of a super-lethal super bug floating around — the same one that sickened seven people and killed two in a Los Angeles hospital last year,” The Inertia reported.
The superbug is known as carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. The U.S. EPA declined to reveal the name of the sewage plant where the bug was found, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But now, the bug has become a rising threat outside the hospital setting, and experts worry about the risk to swimmers and surfers in the ocean near where treated wastewater is discharged.
“The idea of CRE flowing down our sewer pipes gets me nervous,” said James McKinnell, an infectious disease expert at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, per the report. “We should be testing our runoff.”