Antibiotic-resistant infections, deaths are up

The threat of antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise, with more than 2.8 million occurring in the U.S. each year and more than 35,000 deaths, according to the CDC.

The numbers are up from the agency’s 2013 report about AR threats, which found at least 2 million people get these types of infections and at least 23,000 people die annually.

One of the biggest culprits of AR infections is Clostridioides difficile, or C. diff, which caused 223,900 cases in 2017 and at least 12,800 deaths.

According to the CDC, the number of AR infections is still too high despite efforts to prevent and control the number of these infections, which are caused by antibiotic-resistant germs.

“More action is needed to fully protect people,” the CDC said in its 2019 report on AR infections.

While there are more threats of these infections, deaths are decreasing, the 2019 report found.

The agency is concerned about the rise in the number of resistant infections, which are harder to contain and identify and pose a risk to protecting patients in healthcare. So far, 18 AR bacteria and fungi have been put into three categories based on how concerning they are to human health, either urgent, serious or concerning. The agency also created a watch list with AR threats with the potential to spread or become a bigger challenge in the U.S. There are currently 5 urgent threats, two new threats and three threats added to the new watch list.

Part of the reason AR infections pose a big risk is because they are harder to treat, and they are fueled by the use of antibiotics. Meaning, the side effects of when antibiotics are used can contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.

See the full report here.