CDC warns of new superbug threat

This 1971 microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, which causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. In a report released Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated about 36,000 Americans died from drug-resistant infections in 2017, down about 18% from an estimated 44,000 in 2013. Though deaths may be going down, non-fatal infections increased nationally from 2013 to 2017, from 2.6 million to 2.8 million. Dramatic increases in drug-resistant gonorrhea, urinary tract infections, and group A strep were largely to blame. (CDC via AP)

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UPDATED 6:55 PM PT — Friday, November 14, 2019

The CDC is saying every 15 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies from a superbug that is resistant to antibiotics. The 2019 ‘Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States’ report said around 35,000 deaths each year occur from drug-resistant infections.

The new federal report placed five drug-resistant superbugs on the CDC’s urgent threat list, which is up from the three germs listed in their 2013 report.

“This report from CDC, the second of its kind, presents data about the top 18 pathogens that require attention now,” stated CDC Director Robert Redfield. “It emphasizes that antibiotic resistance is a One Health issue that can spread through people, animals, and the environment…and affects nearly every aspect of life.”

Genetic research showed germs have become especially adept at teaching each other how to outwit antibiotics. Experts are pushing doctors to prescribe antibiotics only when absolutely necessary.

“Our nation must stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era—it’s already here,” urged Redfield. “You and I are living in a time when some miracle drugs no longer perform miracles and families are being ripped apart by a microscopic enemy.”

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