The overuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture has long been known to foster the emergence of germs that are resistant to drugs.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the first solid numbers on the extent of the problem. It said that at least two million Americans fall ill from antibiotic-resistant infections each year, of whom at least 23,000 die from the infections, a very conservative estimate.
The agency warned of “potentially catastrophic consequences” unless prompt action is taken. It said that up to half of the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or appropriately used (as when a broad spectrum antibiotic is used instead of a more targeted drug).
Overuse of antibiotics on farms, where they are often used to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals, also contributes to development of resistant strains of germs.
The new report, for the first time, puts 17 drug-resistant bacteria and a dangerous fungus into three categories based on how big a threat they pose. Three were deemed “urgent threats,” including a bacterium, known as CRE, that is resistant to most drugs and kills a high percentage of people who become infected with it.
The Latest on: Antibiotic Resistance
- Expert: We took antibiotics for granted on April 19, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Scientists warn there will be more cases like his, and that antibiotic resistance could potentially kill more people in the future than cancer kills today. That's because the overuse of antibiotics ... […]
- Antibiotic-resistant superbugs kill thousands each year. Chicago health care facilities are testing a special soap that could help. on April 19, 2019 at 7:31 am
Hospitals and nursing homes in California and Illinois are testing a surprisingly simple strategy against the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of people each year: washing ... […]
- Wanted: New Strategies for Antibiotic-Resistant H. pylori on April 18, 2019 at 12:31 pm
As standard therapies for eradicating Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection lose ground to rising global antibiotic resistance, an international group sought to harmonize three competing sets of ... […]
- Morning Rounds: Antibiotics resistance on April 16, 2019 at 8:11 am
NORFOLK, Va. - According to the Centers for Disease Control, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. "Each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people get ... […]
- Antibiotic resistance gene transmitted between pets at a UK animal hospital on April 16, 2019 at 12:13 am
A gene that enables bacteria to be highly resistant to linezolid, an antibiotic that is used as a last resort for treating infections in humans, has been found in bacterial samples from cats and a ... […]
- A new bacteria-killing weapon in the fight against antibiotic resistance on April 15, 2019 at 8:05 am
When the first antibiotics were discovered in the early 20th century, the rate of death from infectious diseases fell dramatically. But the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria as a result of ... […]
- Prescriptions for UTIs may be making antibiotic resistance even worse on April 15, 2019 at 4:04 am
WHEN it comes to prescribing antibiotics, doctors are in a jam. Giving them too often risks perpetuating the development of resistance to these drugs in bacteria. That is a serious threat to society. ... […]
- Stopping antibiotic resistance before it happens on April 9, 2019 at 4:36 pm
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to public health. One way bacteria develop resistance is by generating new mutations in their DNA that allow them to overcome the deadly effects ... […]
- Antibiotic resistance across Wisconsin revealed by new maps on April 9, 2019 at 9:35 am
When a patient arrives at a hospital with an infection, her doctor must decide which antibiotic might have the best chance of curing her — no easy feat when disease-causing pathogens are increasingly ... […]
- Disinfection can help prevent spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, but what about their genes? on April 8, 2019 at 11:47 am
Each year at least 2 million Americans are infected with bacteria that cannot be treated with antibiotics, and at least 23,000 of these people die, according to the Centers for Disease Control. These ... […]
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