The Untimely Reporting of Drug-Resistant Outbreaks in the United States

  21 March 2020

The unconscionable delay and coverup of the novel coronavirus by China’s government has spurred worldwide condemnation.  For almost a month after the outbreak was suspected,(1) the information was hidden from their citizens which inflamed public unrest and mistrust in their government. (2)  An outcome that no major world power should desire.

Unfortunately, it appears that public reporting of COVID-19 cases by the Chinese government is more timely compared to what the average citizens in the United States are experiencing regarding drug-resistant bacteria.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates at a minimum, that these pathogens cause 47,800 deaths each year(3).  According to Michael Craig, MPP, at the CDC, “Every 11 seconds someone in the United States gets a resistant infection and someone dies every 15 minutes.”(4)  However, only a few of these infections are publicly reported and when they are, the delayed reports do far too little to safeguard the public.

Further reading: CDDEP
Author(s): Kevin Kavanagh
Effective Surveillance  


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