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Superbug Scare: 35K Die Annually From Drug-Resistant Infection, Number Sickened In Millions

Superbugs are killing more people than originally thought.
Superbugs are killing more people than originally thought. Photo Credit: CDC

“Superbugs” are killing thousands each year and sickening millions more, nearly twice as many as previously thought, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the report, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. In addition, 223,900 cases of Clostridioides difficile occurred in 2017 and at least 12,800 people died.

The CDC said that dedicated prevention and infection control efforts are ongoing nationwide to reduce the number of infections and deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant germs, but the number of people facing antibiotic resistance is still too high.

The report lists 18 antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi into three categories based on the level of concern to human health—urgent, serious, and concerning—and highlights estimated infections and deaths since the 2013 report, aggressive actions taken and gaps slowing progress.

Superbugs evolve when germs — including bacteria and fungi — become resistant to the medications used to fight them. Those most vulnerable to superbugs are people who are already sick or have compromised immune systems, such as the elderly or very young children.

The complete list of the biggest superbug threats can be found on the CDC website.

“CDC is concerned about rising resistant infections in the community, which can put more people at risk, make spread more difficult to identify and contain, and threaten the progress made to protect patients in healthcare. The emergence and spread of new forms of resistance remain a concern.”

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