However, Bacteria are very adaptive, and can develop antibiotic-resistant over time. Due to over use and mostly misuse of antibiotics “superbugs” also known as drug-resistant bacteria have now become a big public health concern.
To end this grave issue, the White House has come up with a plan to control antibiotic-resistant bacteria over the next five years. As part of this plan, President Obama has asked Congress to double the funding for treating and preventing antibiotic resistance, to $1.2 billion.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), superbugs cause more than two million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths in the United States each year. So far in 2015, two of the drug-resistant bacteria that most concern public health experts — Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) — have made headlines due to increased outbreaks and multiple deaths.
The Obama plan outlines five steps the U.S. government hopes will decrease the rate of superbug infections like these. They include:
- Slowing the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, and preventing further spread by exercising caution when prescribing antibiotics and decreasing the use of antibiotics in agriculture and animal products.
- Strengthening U.S. “One-Health” tracking efforts. The U.S. government hopes to do better at tracking superbug outbreaks and improve response time through the use of databases, genomic data, and network monitoring.
- Developing quicker and more effective diagnostic tests. New tests that can differentiate between viral and bacterial infections can help cut down on antibiotic use.
- Increasing the rate of research. According to the White House, “New antibiotics and alternative treatments for both humans and animals are critical to maintaining our capacity to treat and prevent disease.”
- Working globally to fight infections. The United States isn’t the only country with a superbug problem. International collaboration can help decrease the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, and increase the likelihood that new technologies will be developed.
US have crafted a short term plan to control the problem. But are we living in the third world country even aware of this this serious ailment? We also need to take measures to counter this growing problem of superbugs.
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