For all our technology, will we end up going back to the Dark Ages? Wired Science writes:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just published a first-of-its-kind assessment of the threat from antibiotic-resistant organisms, outlining urgent steps that need to be taken.
The agency’s conservative assessment of the problem:
Each year, in the U.S., 2,049,442 illnesses caused by bacteria and fungi that are resistant to at least some classes of antibiotics; Each year, out of those illnesses, 23,000 deaths.
“If we are not careful, we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era,” Dr. Tom Frieden, the CDC’s director, said in a media briefing. “And for some patients and for some microbes, we are already there.”
Out of that matrix, their top three “urgent” threats:
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, a set of ICU germs that are resistant to almost all antibiotics: 600 deaths per year; Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, which currently responds to only one drug: 246,000 infections per year; Clostridium difficile, 14,000 deaths.