The current mortality rate of 23,000 Americans dying every year from antibiotic resistance may just dramatically increase as these nightmare bacteria are impossible to kill by most, if not all, existing pharmaceutical antibiotics.
According to the CDC's 2017 study, one out of four germs is able to spread its resistance to other germs while one in 10 symptomless persons carry an unusual germ making them a silent carrier of these hard-to-treat bacteria. What’s even more alarming is how these bacteria continue to grow and develop while research centers are falling behind in trying to come up with more aggressive cures.
"Doctors liken the spread of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE and other antibiotic-resistant germs to a wildfire, which is difficult to contain once it spreads widely. Therefore, doctors are trying to stamp out new or unusual types of antibiotic resistance when they first appear — to extinguish the 'spark' before it has a chance to grow and spread," CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. said.
Schuchat confirmed that there are a number of dangerous pathogens that can cause infections that are difficult or impossible to treat. By far, the only countermeasure they have is to contain patients identified carrying the said germs.
A containment strategy is being observed by the CDC and all other local hospital in 27 U.S. states. The standard operating procedure entails "rapid identification of resistance, infection control assessments, testing patients without symptoms who may carry and spread the germ, and continued infection control assessments until spread is stopped."
With the said approach, Schuchat said the case can be cut down by at least 76 percent despite its effectiveness only going at 20 percent. CDC estimated that 1,600 CRE cases can be prevented in each state in the next three years through proper implementation of the strategy and the involvement and support of all healthcare sectors in the country. In addition to that, the expert shared that data show such aggressive treatment will help slow the spread of contamination.
The CDC is reported to have partnered with other agencies to fight against the worsening case of antibiotic resistance in the U.S. As of this writing, there are seven Antibiotic Resistance (AR) lab network regional labs, 56 AR lab network state and local labs, more than 500 local staff deployed to combat the issue, 35 advanced programs to prevent spread and improve antibiotic use and 49 projects exploring innovative detection and prevention. (Related: Antibiotic use by previous patients mean hospital beds increase risk of infection.)
Aside from the aforementioned actions, public health warnings and advice, the CDC is asking everyone to be vigilant in reporting possible cases of antibiotic resistance. According to their official statement, the public is encouraged to discuss the matter to healthcare experts and ask for recommended vaccines to fight off unwanted bacteria. Lastly, good hygiene must always be observed to prevent germs from entering your body.
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