2022 SPECIAL REPORT COVID-19 U.S. IMPACT ON ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
As an infectious disease physician, I have a frontline understanding of antimicrobial resistance—when
germs like bacteria and fungi defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Antimicrobial resistance was
one of our greatest public health concerns prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it remains so.
Since 2013, CDC has been sounding the alarm about this potential pandemic threat in the United States
across health care, the food supply, the environment, and the community. CDC showed as recently as
2019 that more than 3 million Americans acquire an antimicrobial-resistant infection or Clostridioides
difficile infection (often associated with taking antimicrobials) each year. Nearly 50,000 people die
from these threats. And a January 2022 report shows antimicrobial resistance is a leading cause of death globally, with the highest burden in low-resource countries.
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