PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The Department of Health is investigating a cluster of bacterial infections in northeastern South Dakota.

Twenty-six potential cases of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, from northeastern South Dakota have been reported to the department for evaluation. CRE cases have been reported in 42 states, including all of South Dakota's neighboring states except Nebraska.

Bacteria such as Klebsiella and E. coli are found in the human digestive system and can become resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. Patients on ventilators, urinary or intravenous catheters, or long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections. Healthy people are not at risk.

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