There's a new and serious threat from an antibiotic resistant superbug—this time involving the nation's children.
According to a study published this month in the Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, infections caused by a specific type of drug resistant bacteria are on the rise in U.S. children, especially in ages 1 to 5.
The problem, said Dr. Latania Logan, lead researcher on the study, is that there aren't enough options to stop the spread of the bacteria.
"The infection is fairly common in children, but the real issue is that we just don't have any drugs available to treat the infections," said Logan.
Logan, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, explained that the resistant bacteria produces an enzyme called extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) that stops strong antibiotics from being effective.
Logan's report stated that the enzymes were found in children across the country of all ages but slightly more than half of the bacteria with this resistance were from those ages 1 to 5.
Logan said that the overall rate of the ESBL type of infections in children are low but it can spread rapidly and is linked to longer stays in the hospital and increased mortality.