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CDC Finds Germs with 'Unusual' Antibiotic Resistance Sweeping through America

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The CDC reported that in 2017 there were more than 200 instances of germs that can't be killed by most antibiotics or germs that can spread resistance to other bugs.

"I was surprised by the numbers" of bacteria with unusual antibiotic resistance, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said.

Two million USA patients get infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and 23,000 die. An antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they said, could utterly devastate entire populations, and potentially lead to utter catastrophe.

The report, issued today, is the first of its kind, drawing on information gathered by the CDC's Antibiotic Resistance Lab Network, which was established in 2016 and consists of at least one lab in each state, seven regional labs and the National Tuberculosis Molecular Surveillance Center. To that end, the CDC created the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN) to test and track for these unsafe bacteria. "To help prevent the spread of the resistant organism, the clinician can work with the hospital infection control and healthcare epidemiology team, as well as with the health department".

The report adds that in 11 percent of screening tests, in people who were otherwise asymptomatic, the CDC found a hard to treat pathogen that spreads between hosts and facilities easily.

She added clinicians and labs in hospitals and healthcare facilities need to be aware of containment strategies and recognize state health departments can help such efforts.

Now, the CDC is working more closely with hospitals and other healthcare facilities to rapidly identify patients infected with superbugs, isolate them and prevent the germs from spreading to anyone else.

This latest report, which the CDC published on its website, reveals that various different strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria were discovered in 27 states, and were not all related to the same ailments.

Antibiotic resistance threats vary greatly nationwide, but instances of resistance have been reported in every USA state, according to the CDC.

The CDC provided two specific examples - one from Tennessee and the other in Iowa - which show that the containment strategy proved successful.

Along with their national containment plan, the CDC recommends the public keep their hands and any cuts on their skin clean, stay up to date with vaccinations and inform their doctor if they've recently received any healthcare in another country. In addition to federal agencies, local health departments and local clinics are also joining in the fight. "With an aggressive reaction, we've had the ability to stomp them out immediately and stop their spread in between individuals, in between other centers, and in between other bacteria". These germs were reportedly resistant to almost all, if not all, antibiotics used in the study. No further spread was found during follow-up assessments, according to the CDC.