“Superbugs” or antibiotic-resistant bacteria are spreading making infections like pneumonia and gonorrhea difficult to treat.
An alarming report from federal health officials found that drug-resistant "superbugs" are infecting millions of Americans and killing thousands each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 2.8 million people are infected and more than 35,000 people die every year from the bugs in the U.S.
Superbugs are hard to treat bacteria and fungi that have developed resistance to common drugs, like antibiotics or antifungals, that had been used to treat them.
"Stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era – it’s already here," CDC Director Robert Redfield says in a letter accompanying the report released last week.
Drug-resistant bugs are in every U.S. state and around the globe, and they now cause nearly twice as many deaths as they did when the CDC reported on it in 2013.
Here's what you need to know about superbugs:
What is a superbug and is there a treatment?
Superbugs are bacteria or fungi that are resistant to antibiotics or antifungals, says Dr. Alyssa Letourneau, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.Antibiotics can be very narrow and target one specific bacteria, or they can have a broad range of the bacteria they fight.
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