Antibiotic-Resistant 'Superbugs' Pose Urgent Threat to Public Health: CDC

Drug-resistant “superbugs” have become an urgent public health concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Monday, echoing years of research by groups such has Food & Water Watch who warn that the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms leads to drug-resistant infections.

According to the new CDC report, at least two million Americans now fall ill from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and at least 23,000 subsequently die.

“For organism after organism, we’re seeing this steady increase in resistance rates,” the CDC’s director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, told Reuters in a telephone interview. “We don’t have new drugs about to come out of the pipeline. If and when we get new drugs, unless we do a better job of protecting them, we’ll lose those, also.”

As the CDC reports, the overuse of antibiotics on both humans and farm animals is the “most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world.” CDC writes:

This overuse allows the targeted bacteria to eventually build resistance to those drugs. When humans are exposed to those bacterias, antibiotics are less likely to combat infection. As the report states, “much of antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary and inappropriate and makes everyone less safe.”