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CDC Report Examines Threat Of Nearly 2 Dozen Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes

“The U.S. faces ‘potentially catastrophic consequences’ if it does not act immediately to combat drug resistance which already kills an estimated 23,000 people a year,” the CDC warned in a report released on Monday, The Guardian reports (McVeigh, 9/17). “In [its] 114-page report, the agency detailed for the first time the toll that nearly two dozen antibiotic-resistant microbes are taking on humans — ranking the threat of each as ‘urgent,’ ‘serious’ or ‘concerning,'” the Washington Post writes, adding, “Should the trend continue, [the report] said, some infections could become essentially untreatable” (Dennis/Vastag, 9/16). According to the report, “at least two million people in the United States develop serious bacterial infections that are resistant to one or more types of antibiotics each year,” Reuters notes. “Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, a diarrhea-causing superbug and a class of fast-growing killer bacteria dubbed a ‘nightmare’ were classified as urgent public-health threats” in the report, the news service adds (Steenhuysen, 9/16).

“A worldwide problem, diseases resistant to antibiotics cross international boundaries, spreading from one country to another with ease, the report says,” according to the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog, which notes, “With new antibiotic research and development at a standstill, antimicrobial resistance will continue to ‘pose a catastrophic threat to people in every country of the world,’ the report says” (Aziz, 9/18). “The CDC report laid out four core actions for curbing drug resistance: preventing infections in the first place through immunizations, hand-washing and other precautions; tracking resistant bacteria more carefully once they emerge; using antibiotics more judiciously when needed; and promoting development of new drugs to treat — and tests to detect — infections,” the Los Angeles Times writes (Brown, 9/16). In related news, the WHO on September 19-20 “is convening a Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) in Geneva to bring experts from a range of sectors worldwide to review and help shape a global strategy to tackle the growing challenge of [antimicrobial resistance (AMR)],” the agency reports in a feature on its webpage (September 2013).