Antibiotic resistanct infections are killing twice as many people
Nearly twice as many people are dying in the United States from antibiotic-resistant infections than previously believed, U.S. health officials said, Reuters report.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report it had determined that 2.8 million antibiotic resistant infections occur each year, killing 35,000 people.
Five drug-resistant superbugs in the urgent threat list
The report lists 18 antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi into three categories based on level of concern to human health—urgent, serious, and concerning—and highlights:
- Estimated infections and deaths since the 2013 report
- Aggressive actions taken
- Gaps slowing progress
The report places five drug-resistant superbugs on the CDC's "urgent threat" list -- two more germs than were on the last issued CDC's list in 2013.
The report also includes a Watch List with three threats that have not spread resistance widely in the U.S. but could become common without a continued aggressive approach.
Germs are teaching each other to fight antibiotics
Genetic research shows germs have become especially adept at teaching each other how to outwit antibiotics.
Some miracle drugs no longer perform miracles," according to the report.
Drug resistance is driven by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials, which encourages bacteria to evolve to survive by finding new ways to beat the medicines.
The CDC said that 2019’s higher numbers were the result of new and better data sources, not a rise in fatalities, and that in fact prevention efforts had decreased deaths from the hard-to-kill germs by 18%.
A spokeswoman for the nonprofit National Resources Defense Council, however, called even the CDC’s new estimate far too low, saying that a recent Washington University study put the death toll at more than 160,000.