(NEWSER) – Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are "just about as bad as it gets," as one study author puts it, are spreading quickly in the Southeast, with a fivefold increase in detected cases between 2008 and 2012, a new study warns. The carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, can defeat even last-resort antibiotics and have been dubbed "nightmare bacteria" by the CDC. The study's authors say they are "trying to sound the alarm," and experts say the findings are especially worrying because it appears some of the cases were not connected to a hospital setting, the Smithsonian reports.

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