Report – Drug-resistant “superbugs” that kill people are on the rise, but no new antibiotics are in the pipeline

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 17, 2013

Frances Weaver is a senior editor at The Week magazine – her report includes the following:  ”Thousands of Americans are now dying every year from infections that used to be curable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned that drug-resistant bacteria kill at least 23,000 people annually in America and cost the U.S. health-care system $20 billion a year. Three “nightmare” superbugs, the CDC says, have become of “urgent” concern (see box). The crisis has become so pressing that CDC official Dr. Arjun Srinivasan has warned that we could be entering a “post-antibiotic era.” If that proves true, the repercussions would be devastating. Treatments we take for granted — like organ transplants, premature-infant care, and chemotherapy, which weakens the patient’s immune system — would be put in jeopardy. Even routine medical procedures like the placement of a catheter could be considered too dangerous. In a post-antibiotic world, said Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, in 2012, “things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”

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