Just like animals, bacteria, and the diseases caused by it, have the ability to adapt. A landmark study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that process is becoming more and more of a problem for Americans.
In this report, published on Monday, the CDC argues American doctors and patients are creating ‘super’ bacteria by overusing antibiotics.
The study is the first of its kind in several ways but, perhaps most importantly, it’s the first to quantify the antibiotic resistance problem with a number, saying it causes at least 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year. (via KRIV)
The report also puts the different bacterias in order of importance separating them into concerning, serious and urgent. The CDC director stressed the importance of tackling this issue now to USA Today.
“If we are not careful and we don't take urgent action, the medicine cabinet may be empty for patients with life-threatening infections in the coming months and years.”
Here are the problems that made it into the most severe or ‘Urgent’ category.
The CRE bloodstream, which infected 9,000 last year — killing nearly half of those infected. An enhanced form of Gonorrhea that is drug resistant. The CDC says 30% of the 800,000 with the STD has this enhanced disease. Lastly is Clostridium difficile, which causes diarrhea, infecting 250,000 and killing 14,000 per year.
Of the diseases listed the CRE bloodstream infection seems to be the farthest along in its evolution.
The New York Times writes it “ ... has become resistant to nearly all antibiotics on the market.” and has been “... identified ... in health care facilities in 44 states.”
CBS News adds CRE “can kill one out of every two patients who develop bloodstream infections caused by them.”
And as disturbing as those stats are the CDC says there is still hope in ‘antibiotic stewardship.’
Stewardship simply means doctors giving patients the correct dosage at the right time for the right thing and patients following doctors’ orders. The CDC believes this practice will do wonders in curbing this problem. (via WDAF)
For more on this story visit, Newsy.com.