The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that illnesses and deaths from antibiotic resistance will rise in the U.S. unless specific changes are made in the U.S. public health system — and coupling the prediction with a blunt challenge to Congress to give it the money it needs to make the changes happen.
In a new report, the CDC estimates that infections caused within healthcare institutions by the most problematic superbugs will rise by 10 percent over the next five years, from 310,000 to 340,000. (Those infections are a subset of the 2 million antibiotic-resistant infections that the CDC estimates occur each year in the United States.) That rise could be reversed, the agency said, if healthcare institutions could identify patients who carry dangerous bacteria with them as they check in and out of acute care hospitals, long-term care and rehab, and work together to keep their infections from being transported from one place to another.
“We’ve requested funds in the fiscal year ’16 ‘Antibiotic Solutions Initiative’ to fund state protection programs in all 50 states and ten large cities to do this work,” the agency’s director Dr. Thomas Frieden said at an afternoon press briefing. “Without those investments, we’ll continue to struggle, and patients will continue to get infections that could have been prevented… It’s up to Congress to support the resources needed to protect Americans.”
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