CDC calls for urgent action to combat rise of drug resistant pathogens

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 17 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5649
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for aggressive and immediate action to halt the spread of drug resistant pathogens, in a new report.1

“We talk about a pre-antibiotic era and an antibiotic era; if we’re not careful we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era,” said the CDC’s director, Tom Frieden, in a teleconference with reporters on 16 September. “In fact, for some patients and some microbes we are already there.”

The report estimates that two million people become ill from antibiotic resistant infections in the United States each year, of whom 23 000 will die.

Frieden called this estimate “very conservative,” because it only includes hospital associated infections.

“We know that …

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