Antibiotic Resistance

The idea of people dying from infections that were once easily cured may seem outlandish. But it is happening already — taking about 23,000 lives in the United States a year — and experts warn that things will get worse because bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics faster than we can make new drugs to fight back.

We have ourselves to blame, for overusing the drugs in people and squandering them on livestock. Now, a dangerous form of drug resistance has reached the United States, leaving us just one step away from infections that are completely untreatable.
- Sabrina Tavernise, Erica Goode, and Denise Grady, Short Answers to Hard Questions About Antibiotic Resistance, NYT, May 27, 2016

The World Health Organization warned on Monday that a dozen antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” pose an enormous threat to human health....

The rate at which new strains of drug-resistant bacteria have emerged in recent years, prompted by overuse of antibiotics in humans and livestock, terrifies public health experts. ...

“We are fast running out of treatment options,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the W.H.O. assistant director general who released the list. “If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.”

Britain’s chief medical officer, Sally C. Davies, has described drug-resistant pathogens as a national security threat equivalent to terrorism....”

Last week, the European Food Safety Authority and European Center for Disease Prevention and Control estimated that superbugs kill 25,000 Europeans each year; the C.D.C. has estimated that they kill at least 23,000 Americans a year. (For comparison, about 38,000 Americans die in car crashes yearly.)

- DONALD G. McNEIL Jr., Deadly, Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’ Pose Huge Threat, W.H.O. Says, NYT, FEB. 27, 2017

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