June 19, 2019

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Sickens 2 Million Americans Each Year

cdc_logo1Antibiotic resistant bacteria sickens 2 million Americans each year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These infections contribute to more illness complications, higher health care costs and more intense treatments.

The estimated cost of these illnesses is $20 billion annually in excess direct health care costs, with an additional $35 billion in lost productivity.

One of the biggest drivers of this problem is inappropriate antibiotic prescribing by doctors, which can lead to adverse reactions. About 142,000 adult emergency department visits each year stem from adverse drug reactions from antibiotics, most of which are caused by allergies. The report states that doctors inappropriately prescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections more than for any other diagnosis. In 2010, 71% of all outpatient visits for this condition resulted in a prescription.

Guidelines should emphasize stringent case definitions and clinical observation for mild cases.

 

 

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