Infectious disease expert: Antibiotic resistance could create another headache post-coronavirus

  28 March 2020

“And while we’re still trying to understand what impact that has, there was a study that was published a couple of weeks ago out of China where they looked at patients that went on to survive the disease, as well as those that succumbed. And the first data point that I think is important is everyone got antibiotics. I mentioned this is going to have an impact. It looks like [giving] antibiotic treatment just to be safe and stop the secondary infections is happening pretty widely. So when you think of a pandemic that may reach this magnitude of patients, that means a lot of antibiotics are going to be used.

Washington Examiner: For those who have survived or are recovering from the coronavirus disease?

Frank: Yeah, so everyone’s getting [antiobiotics] based off some of the studies we’re seeing — not everyone, that’s a bit of a bold statement. The majority of patients being treated for COVID-19 that we saw data from China are receiving antibiotics. So if this becomes a very widespread pandemic, we would likely see a lot of people getting antibiotics and further driving resistance. But the second point that is more important is that in that study I originally referenced, they looked at the people who died, and they found that 50% of those that had a secondary infection went on to die. So we don’t have the smoking gun yet that says that bacterial infections are killing people from coronavirus. But what we can say is it does tend to do this with other infections of the respiratory tract. We’re seeing people who have secondary infections die. So I think there’s a lot of smoke.”

Further reading: Washington Examiner
Author(s): Nihal Krishan
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