ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE THREATS IN THE UNITED STATES

  27 February 2020

CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 (2019 AR Threats Report) includes updated national death and infection estimates that underscore the continued threat of antibiotic resistance in the United States. New CDC data show that while the burden of antibiotic-resistance threats in the United States was greater than initially understood, deaths
are decreasing since the 2013 report. This suggests that U.S. efforts preventing infections, stopping spread of bacteria and fungi, and improving use of antibiotics in humans, animals, and the environment—are working, especially in hospitals. Vaccination, where possible, has also shown to be an effective tool of preventing infections, including those that can be resistant, in the community.


Yet the number of people facing antibiotic resistance in the United States is still too high. More than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the United States each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. In addition, nearly 223,900 people in the United States required hospital care for C. difficile and at least 12,800 people died in 2017. Germs continue to spread and develop new types of resistance, and progress may be
undermined by some community-associated infections that are on the rise. More action is needed to address antibiotic resistance. While the development of new treatments is one of these key actions, such investments must be coupled with dedicated efforts toward preventing
infections in the first place, slowing the development of resistance through better antibiotic use, and stopping the spread of resistance when it does develop to protect American lives now and in the future.


This report is intended to:
■ Serve as a reference for anyone looking for recent information on antibiotic resistance
■ Provide the latest antibiotic resistance burden estimates for human health in the United States, including a list of 18 germs listed on level of concern to human health—urgent, serious, and concerning
■ Highlight emerging areas of concern and additional action needed to address this threat at a national and global level

Further reading: CDC
Author(s): CDC
Effective Surveillance  
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