A nightmare health scenario we can stop
November 20th, 2013
08:52 AM ET

A nightmare health scenario we can stop

By Tom Frieden, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Dr. Tom Frieden is the director for the Center for Disease Control. The views expressed are his own.

Today’s interconnected world means we’re all linked by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat – and the antibiotics we use.

Global travel speeds the rate at which infectious disease threats can be delivered to our doorstep. We’ve seen antibiotic resistance travel the globe. Take Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE. This really is a nightmare bacteria, resistant to most, and in some cases all, antibiotics. These microbes are especially deadly, and they can pass their resistance to other microbes through “jumping genes” or plasmids. One type of CRE was first seen in one U.S. state. Now it’s spread to 44. It’s also a recognized problem in other countries.

Right now, CRE are found primarily in hospitals. But if these microbes become more common in the community, then urinary tract infections, wounds and other common infections will be extremely difficult or even impossible to treat. It’s a terrible scenario – one that puts all of us at risk.

To help draw attention to CRE and other top antibiotic-resistance threats, the Center for Disease Control recently published its first report on the current antibiotic resistance threat to the U.S. The report estimates that each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a result.

It’s a big problem, and one that’s getting worse.  But we published this report because it’s not too late – there’s a lot we can do to slow down, and even reverse, antibiotic resistance.

Clinicians, healthcare facility leaders, public health professionals, leaders in agriculture, policymakers, and patients all have a role to play in reversing the current resistance trends. Through concerted commitment to immunization, infection control, protecting the food supply, antibiotic stewardship, and reducing person-to-person transmission we can keep new resistance from developing and prevent the resistance that already exists from spreading.

More from CNN: Doctors still overprescribing antibiotics

Indeed, there are four core actions that between us we can and should be taking:

Prevent: Drug-resistant infections can be prevented by immunization, infection control in healthcare settings, safe food preparation and handling and hand washing.

Track: CDC collects and analyzes data on antibiotic-resistant infections to understand their causes and to discover which people more likely to be infected and to help find and stop outbreaks.

Improve use: Every doctor must commit to use antibiotics only when needed, and to use antibiotics for only as long as they are needed. Patients need to understand that “more” drugs does not equal “better” drugs. The right treatment is the best treatment – and that isn’t antibiotics for every infection or every illness.

Develop new drugs and diagnostic tests: It’s important that we restart the pipeline and provide incentives to companies to do this research. Still, it might be 10 years before the next antibiotic is available, and unless we improve systems to prevent resistance, we will lose these new drugs as well.

The president’s budget has a request for an increase of $40 million so we can better use advanced molecular techniques to find resistant and other deadly microbes and stop them faster. But whatever resources are entrusted to us, we’re going to use them as effectively as we can to protect Americans, because that’s what we’re here to do.

In the meantime, we’re also working with other countries to help them build their systems to find, stop and prevent health threats, because there are too many blind spots around the world.  We help them increase laboratory and prevention capacity so threats are detected accurately and stopped sooner.

We work with our international partners such as the World Health Organization and ministries of health to improve tracking and prevention of antibiotic resistance and better protection of the antibiotics we have today.

That protects them – and it protects Americans.

Post by:
Topics: Health

soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. killen fatties

    Time to cull the fat lazy blacks. And mexcans too. All they do is eat crisco and sht out criminal childrun.

    Yall mofos kno fo sho.

    The plague will help control overpopulation. Ted cruz for Prez!

    November 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • mike

      Please, as this guy dies from this can we just get all medical personel to just laugh, or is that too much to ask.

      November 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • TC

        CDC and Homeland Security are part of the problem!!! Take for example taking off shoes at the airport for security screening. Putting dirty shoes in the screening bins is insane! These shoes were in bathrooms, walked on sidewalks, stepping in dog poops, or human spit… Then, the next person using the bin putting his coat, or scarf, or hat in the same bin… From here, how long does it take to get infected???

        November 21, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • lesliee

      Troll alert.

      November 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • banasy©

      Quaint.

      November 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • opinion117

      You realize you're the one using black street slang? Get rid of yourself first, if this is truly your wish.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Toddmw

      Anyone who actually says, " Yall mofos kno fo sho." Wow just wow I am truly humbled by you Sir'. Your pronounciation indicates that you must have been at the top of your class with regard to academic performance. The best of the brightest. An upper class elite! Now go look in the mailbox there guy and you will find this envelope. Yah that one... Its the one you get every month. If you can read it, oh come on you can, go ahead and give it your best shot, it says, Puuubbbllliccc...Assist.....Tance! There you go. Your all set till this time next month. Because " Yall mofos kno fo sho."

      November 21, 2013 at 12:27 am |
      • laura

        Why on earth did you put so much effort into this response? Ignore that troll and get back to the point- put your intellect to good use by commenting on the issues within the article.

        November 21, 2013 at 5:31 am |
    • J G

      Please do not feed the rolls.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:53 am |
      • K H

        Sepsis kills so, so many more people than the bacteria CNN drones on about for page views.

        November 21, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • killen fatties

      Im back yall. Tokin a big ole fattie. Eff yeh. I no likee da blacks. Oh and illegal alliens smell like cabbagge. Burn mofo burn.

      Got you panties in a bunch? Aww poor baby.

      November 21, 2013 at 7:12 am |
      • Gene Boyle

        Perhaps your name should be "killen brain cells" instead.

        November 21, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • TC

      CDC and Homeland Security are part of the problem!!! Take for example taking off shoes at the airport for security screening. Putting dirty shoes in the screening bins is insane! These shoes were in bathrooms, walked on sidewalks, stepping in dog poops, or human spit… Then, the next person using the bin putting his coat, or scarf, or hat in the same bin… From here, how long does it take to get infected???

      November 21, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  2. the_dude

    Stop democr@ps from breeding....world health problem solved

    November 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Thirsty Bob

      It's the conservitard in-breeding which is the greater threat.

      November 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • lesliee

      Same troll, different name.

      November 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • banasy©

      Charming.

      November 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • K H

      Please do not feed the trolls.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:54 am |
  3. Bebe

    Good luck trying to cut back use of antibiotics. Americans are emotionally addicted to their "Z-Pacs" and other antibiotics and act like the spolied brats they are when you tell them you don't need them. People routinely become verbally abusive in the convenience care where I work when I try to tell them their viral illness doesn't require a 10 days course of levaquin. They stomp off to their doctor, who then gives them what they want, probably just to shut them up. Grow up America.

    November 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • that's right

      thats right

      November 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Jessica

      @Bebe, Sadly you are right. I've seen it as a Nurse many, many times. Plus the gobs of antibiotics that we feed to the meat we eat isn't helpful at all, well except to the farmer.

      NOTE TO EVRYONE: AntiBiOtIcS does nothing for Viral (caused by a virus) infection. Antibiotics treat BACTERIAL INFECTIONS ONLY. That's why they are called Antibiotics and not antivirals.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
      • KL

        You are erroneously equating antibiotics with antibacterials.

        To be precise, anitvirals, antifungals, and antibacterials are ALL antibiotics.

        November 21, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • Starfly

      Or alternatively, they come to see me, their child's PCP, and I tell them that their child has a viral illness that requires honey based cough syrup, saline drops, fluids, rest and time (usually 5-7 days). THey then yell at me for not giving them a prescription (because, you know, cough and cold medications are not FDA recommended in children under 6, and antibiotics dont kill viruses) and stomp off to an adult doctor urgent care who thinks they can treat children and leave with 1) a shot of steroids 2) a 10 day course of broad sprectrum antibiotics for "an ear infection" that magically sprung up or "a URI" and 3) a prescription for completely inappropriate cough and cold medication that costs $300 because it's not on anybody's formulary (because it isnt FDA approved! DUH!). Then they call my office back to whine about how much the cough/cold medicine costs and get mad at me AGAIN when I wont "replace it with something cheaper" (like Zarbees, which is honey based AND OTC, perhaps?) *sigh*

      November 21, 2013 at 12:24 am |
      • morlock

        And science does not know if viruses are alive.

        November 21, 2013 at 1:26 am |
      • Rachel

        My favorite is when I fill the prescriptions for Tamiflu, a Z-pak , and cough syrup. Seriously? Is it as viral or a bacterial infection they are trying to treat. I get so frustrated with demanding patients who think they can bully their doctor (or me, their pharmacist) into giving them what they want. There's a pediatrician in the town where I work that gives prescriptions for antibiotics out like candy. She must own stock in Suprax or something. She will see a ”sick” child and immediately prescribe at least one antibiotic for that child and then go ahead and prescribe antibiotics to any siblings in the household ”just in case." I've been standing there when parents will call this doctor on her cell phone while she is on vacation, tell her the symptoms, and hand the phone to me so she can give me a prescription for the child. I ask people why they go to this doctor and they always reply "because she's so good." No, it's because she feeds into the whole mentality that there must be a pill for everything.

        November 21, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • K H

      Where do you work? Who cares about getting z packs that much?

      You must work in a bizarre place.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:54 am |
      • morlock

        What us a "z pack"?

        November 21, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • dan

      Well said, Bebe! People need to grow up and realize that antiboitics are only useful for BACTERIAL infections, not viral ones, like the common cold. Doctors need to start putting their feet down with patients and their children regarding this, and just because your kid gets the sniffles, doesn't mean that he/she is GOING TO DIE! Most of the time, a healthy person's immune system will fight off a viral infection, but it just TAKES TIME! Something that a lot of people just don't want to process.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Will

      What you said is true but this bug came from Western Asia where antibiotics are sold over the counter and are subject to abuse even more so than in the US. Promed issued a alert two years ago that reported that it originated in India where this practice is common.

      November 21, 2013 at 7:25 am |
  4. rrock

    The problem is the hundreds of tons of antibiotics that we feed animals on a daily basis.

    November 20, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Bird

      You're an idiot and have no idea of the scope of the problem. All you're doing is puking the same bs propagated by uneducated media

      November 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
      • banasy©

        They're not giving our food livestock antibiotics?

        November 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • Bird

        Did I say that? Very few of the antimicrobials used in animal agriculture are used in human medicine. The problem is not antimicrobials used in animals

        November 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Brian

        Actually, many of the antibiotics in use in agriculture are closely enough related to those used for people that bacteria that are resistant to one are also resistant to others.

        November 20, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
      • Bird

        Name one

        November 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • banasy©

        No, you didn't say that, but you called the person who did an idiot.
        Just asking for clarification.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
      • Bird

        I called him/her an idiot because I'm tired of people repeating something they heard at their last dinner party from some other uneducated person causing more confusion and misinformation

        November 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
      • banasy©

        Well, okay. Thanks for the clarification.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
      • Gdawg

        Here you go bird troll... you haven't a clue... perhaps you should chat with a microbiologist or two before ranting:
        DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067641
        DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020232

        and this from Nation' Health, 2005 "After a five-year long struggle between FDA and the Bayer Corporation, the company's enrofloxacin drug, known as Baytril, was banned for use in poultry in September. The drug is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is very similar to the human drug ciprofloxacin, raising concerns that the human drug could become resistant to common infections."

        You just have no idea what you are yapping about.

        November 21, 2013 at 1:08 am |
  5. moderate

    The real problem is that the world as a whole is unable to contain these bacteria. Criticize the US all you want, but we do have a good system in place to deal with biological threats. Most of the countries in the world do not have an effective system, which allows diseases to spread rapidly there and through air and sea lanes to other countries.

    November 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  6. Pound That Sloppy Giggle Pocket

    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey
    Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey Baba booey

    November 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • morlock

      you have been reported as the resident "Nitwit Troll", my 8 year old bundle of Troll Fat.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • ✠RZ✠

      Wow, glass on my iPad started to melt in one spot.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:33 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    That is because we travel far too much, and spread disease far too rapidly.

    November 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  8. zoomzoom

    If there were less fast `fat` food joints 2 problems would be solved- overuse of antibiotics & obesity! A good start anyway.

    November 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  9. JohnnyBoy

    Oh noes! Another health scare! Just like how SARS killed...less people than the seasonal flu. Or the H1N1 pandemic that...killed in the...hundreds. Maybe the CDC is onto something here, but they need to stop crying wolf every 3-5 years

    November 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • ScienceSavesUs

      Actually, latest numbers for H1N1 mortality are about 18k in the US.

      What you see as "crying wolf" is preparedness. Better to face a potential problem and solve it, then deal with the aftermath of it hitting hard, which it is starting to.

      November 21, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  10. Mike

    Why doesn't big pharmaceutical companies invent new antibiotics? Simple – the profit isn't there. The only drugs that are blockbusters are the ones that have to be taken every day for the rest of your life. The last big antibiotic R&D lab in the US was shut down by Pfizer two years ago because the MBAs who run the company didn't realize that pan-resistant bacteria, while not a cash cow, may kill off the every same people who take all those highly profitable daily meds. Free enterprise fails the Darwin test.

    November 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Roland

      Good point Mike. Maybe the CDC might do something useful like have lobby congress to pass a law saying the for every dollar a company spends on R&D for highly profitable daily meds must spend one dollar working on a cure/vaccine for a disease. Nah, makes to much sense and would benifit public health in the long run.

      November 21, 2013 at 3:12 am |
  11. Joe

    My God the immature comments on here. Really, are you THAT cruel?

    On another note about the ACTUAL ARTICLE, antibiotic resistance is truly concerning. I hope they figure out something soon.

    November 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  12. aedelaossa

    What would Jeezuz do?

    November 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  13. callinfiresupport

    test

    November 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • callinfiresupport

      what do you know....it didn't go straight to moderation 🙂

      November 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  14. Bex

    I find it incredibly frustrating that the first thing that they list as defense against these bacterial strains are immunizations. How is an immunization going to protect you against a bacterial infection that we would need to take antibiotics for? If the CDC would put as much energy into educating parents about the immune response in their children as they do into hyping up immunizations, maybe this problem wouldn't be here. I grew up on a farm, was around poop, carcasses, and trekked all over our 30 acres. I never once was given antibiotics. My siblings and I were the healthiest kids that I knew.

    November 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Starfly

      Let's see immunizations that protect against highly resistant strains of antibiotics: Haemiphilus influenzae (Hib). PCV13 (streptococcus pneumonia), Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP or TDaP), Nesseriae meningitidis (Menactra/MCV).

      in other countries: Tuberculosis (BCG, anyone?), which, since we now have multiply resistant strains (including ones that dont respond to ANY antibiotics...), might bear looking at here, but I'll leave that up to the CDC and ACIP.

      yeah, vaccines arent JUST for viral illnesses.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • akmac66

      Consider a couple of possibilities. First, you and your family may have strong immune systems. Second, being in that environment has had the effect of natural immunizations, no injections needed.

      November 21, 2013 at 2:00 am |
  15. Clifton H

    Important article. But ignore the immunization claim unless you live in the 3rd world (and even then...it is a question of whether it really helps) . Proper sanitation, diet, healthcare is more effective. Vaccines have been proven to cause the very illnesses that they profess to try to stop. They're pushed by big drug companies making Billions off of the average American and in the midst of it all: autism, allergies and asthma are all on the rise. Think it is coincidence? My kids have virtually no vaccines and they are just fine. And "Herd Immunity" is a catch phrase that is irrelevant.

    So, ditch your antiobotic cleaners, regular soap is just as good.

    November 20, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • John

      "Vaccines have been proven to cause the very illnesses that they profess to try to stop"

      This is an outright *lie*. Please provide a single reference to an article in a respected peer-reviewed medical journal to support your claim.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:27 am |
      • ArtForm

        Source: Division of Immunization, National Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease Control
        Every case of Polio since 1980 has been caused by the vaccine itself.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1554844

        November 21, 2013 at 1:11 am |
      • akmac66

        Art…. That is a very limited sample of a vaccine that uses a live virus. The majority of vaccines use killed or inactivated organisms, not live ones.

        November 21, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • Dr

      Actually, that isn't true. Vaccines are certainly not ideal for pharmaceutical companies to maximize income worth their time. Drugs are a different story.
      It is, however, naive for people to think that the very vaccines that eradicated and minimized the number of prevalent diseases in children have nothing to do with the decrease in death rates and sickness.
      Educate yourselves, and do so through verified resources. If us physicians taught ourselves about medicine through the same bs that many of you read nowadays, then we'd just be idiots playing 'doctor'

      November 21, 2013 at 12:47 am |
      • ArtForm

        Again, takes 15 seconds of searching to find that there are indeed idiots who play doctor.

        Revenue for Top 5 vaccine producing companies for 2012 start with Sanofi at 5.58 billion and bottom the list with Novartis at 1.38 billion. I fully agree with you that neither one of them thinks it is ideal – why is it not 50 billion!? BUT, with more and more vaccines getting on CDC schedule, the ideal might still be within reach! 🙂

        The main point made by Bex is exactly right – benefits of vaccinations aside (and there are some), it is downright shameful that Dr. Tom Frieden uses his good name to peddle the entire vaccination program on the back of CRE by employing scare tactics. There is ZERO medical basis in vaccinations being beneficial in treating or curbing CRE, so they should have been left out of this article completely. If you would like to dispute that, please point to a credible source detailing specific benefits – or any relevance for that matter.

        November 21, 2013 at 1:08 am |
  16. Prometheus

    Antibiotics in my opinion should only be used to save lives, not to simply get you off your back faster.

    We don't need infections to leaf-frog our natural ability to evolve and be naturally resistant to them.

    That would be very, very VERY bad.

    November 21, 2013 at 12:48 am |
  17. dudley

    Lots of alarmism the last few days.

    People are really nervous. Is it because the media is fueling it, or is the media a reaction to the public?

    November 21, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • Dr

      This problem has been understood for several years now. Physicians have been cutting down, albeit it's nowhere near where we should be.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:03 am |
  18. surgical nurse

    it's easy to say 'stop using antibiotics' but honestly...there is a huge difference in 99% of people surviving simple infections by using them...so do you let 99% live and 1% hold the super virus or let more people die? either way, health care providers are going to fall in the cross hairs and we try to help as many as we can...

    November 21, 2013 at 1:09 am |
  19. curious

    Why do so many people seem eager for the end of the world? It is like a weird cult, they want to die with everyone. Are they so sad and alone but too chicken to commit sucide they hope the world will end? Spite. Malice. Envy. I name their soul. The subjective nature of morality. BTW GO OBAMACARE get fixed and make peoples lives better

    November 21, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • Truthseer

      Have you watched or read any of the news lately? Obamacare has created nothing but problems for millions of people and companies. Colleges are getting rid of their insurance plans because they can't keep them. People have had their insurances dropped (including me). Companies can't pay the premiums for their employees because they have increased in price. Many people can't even pay for Obamacare, INCLUDING people Obama spoke about in interviews! He has lied to our country and lost much of the trust people had in our leadership.
      People aren't eager for the end of the world. They are realizing the problems and shortcomings that are all around us. As a registered nurse, I see this on a daily basis. And this article only stirs up the beginning of arguments I have read in newspapers lately, such as the New York Times. Antibiotics have been overprescribed. Research on new antibiotics AND antivirals is underfunded so greatly, it's not even worth it for the companies. Not to mention, medical education of the general public is horrid. People take their medications until they feel better, the WORST thing to do. It's the uneducated public combined with the overprescription that has created so much drug resistance. And it is only likely to advance to a point where there will be no medication to cure common bacterial infections. I have had many patients who have suffered and died due to MRSA all because of a simple thing like a stubbed toe, or minor laceration to an extremity. It is EXTREMELY upsetting. This has nothing to do with the 'end of the world' as you say, curious, it has to do with the advancement of our society as it is now. No one wants to die, they want answers, they want a hope for the future that we won't be stuck in a downward spiral of declining healthcare and health prevention measures.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • Justin Davis

      Personally, it's because I think the human race has gotten entirely too large and won't reverse its course until it is forced to. I suspect that we're nearing the point at which, if we don't slow down, we will do irrecoverable damage to our future chances.

      I'd much rather we have our hard lessons now than learn them in retrospect. It's not that I want massive deaths – I just know they're coming in one form or another.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  20. Pietro Angelo Manganelli

    Figure out how to monetize the problem and it will be solved.

    November 21, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  21. NorCalMojo

    oh look, another crisis.

    November 21, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  22. Roland

    Tom Frieden when JohnnyBoy made the point, "Maybe the CDC is onto something here, but they need to stop crying wolf every 3-5 years" He should have looked a little closer at you piece and see that your funding might be increased. That's when the CDC usually cries wolf. Ha ha. Who would have guessed.
    The CDC is filled with a bunch of Ivy League type grads who continually make decisions and recommendations that are not based on the real world.
    In the end the CDC may very well kill more people then it saves.
    Things like what is considered safe food prep mat well get people killed. How about teach people to wash their dishes WITH OUT antimicrobial soap that they then ingest wich can kill off their own natural bacteria opening them up for infection/GI issues. Or by not getting the occasional small amount of "food poisoning" which then could very get you killed when you eventually get exposed to a moderate amount of it.
    And let's touch on the resistant microbes for a second... Tom Freiden's predecessors at the CDC chose to make MRSA part of normal flora for humans. Chose. Freiden's past experience with Tuberculosis may give him the good sense to remove MRSA from causing a hospital to put a patient on isolation. What is the point of isolation when 70-80% of the staff taking care of the patient have the bacteria already. Then the CDC should force hospitals/nursing homes be aggressive with Isolation (full isolation, no family members in the room not wearing PPE) for other resistant organisms before it is to late (VRE / CRE come to mind).
    And don't get me started on the dangers of the flu vaccine.
    No, I do not fear the actual vaccine. I fear how the CDC goes about weakening the immune systems of America. At risk population with the elderly included should be getting the vaccine. But by encouraging a vaccine to the healthy population that strengthens their immune system for a few short years versus letting them occasionally get sick and building up immunities that could help well over 2 decades puts America at risk. Maybe the CDC should employ a few mathematicians instead of Harvard Docs.

    November 21, 2013 at 3:01 am |
  23. O.M.G.

    A nightmare health scenario we can stop....PURPLE....BEANS!

    November 21, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • DaveLake

      Thanks for the laugh-I really needed it, In the last ten days I have been in and out of the hospital for a problem (no need to get really detailed) that has to with oxygen levels in my blood. Scary when test after test-x-ray after x-ray-does not reveal the problem. However I am lucky as many of my friends are docs-so they will guide me to other facilities if this problem cannot be dealt with locally. I feel like the Purple Beans have invaded my lungs-so I need a Purple Bean shooter. If you happen to have one around please let me know:) Dave

      November 21, 2013 at 6:08 am |
  24. Roland

    Am I the only one who thinks the U.S. is completely incapable of anything that requires this much coordination and organisation? The U.S. is a dysfunctional state if it comes to healthcare,gun control,disaster prevention & relief , even in its favorite hobby war it is terrible.

    November 21, 2013 at 4:41 am |
  25. Richard Smith

    These anti biotic resistant bacteria come from the food we eat and end up in hospitals because that is where the sick get opened up for illness. These little killers are born in the commercial feed lots where anti biotics are used not by the pill, but by the ton. The bacteria that are resisitant to drugs are cultured on slaughtered animals all the time. They wash some of our food in bleach to cleanse the final product, but enough bugs live long enough to jump to us. These things are in us now–just waiting to get out.

    November 21, 2013 at 4:42 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Probably not. People have been actively watching for just such jumps, and so far we've been lucky that few, if any, have occurred. Although I think sub-clinical dosing of livestock with antibiotics should stop, it isn't the source for this problem, or of anything else of note.

      November 21, 2013 at 5:28 am |
  26. Huckleberry7

    'Drug-resistant infections can be prevented by immunization, infection control in healthcare settings, safe food preparation and handling and hand washing.'

    Migration is the #1 cause of Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases.

    November 21, 2013 at 5:38 am |
  27. Pillz

    this is bs, in MANY other countries you can get antibiotics without a prescription. ridiculous for only the us to cut back.
    r&d is the only answer – oh, and stop making new gmo bacteria/viruses

    November 21, 2013 at 6:02 am |
  28. Mass Produced

    Antibiotic resistance is caused primarily by medical malpractice by shoddy doctors who do not know when or how to use them. Antibiotics are not indicated for viral infections, yet doctors write over 100,000 unnecessary prescriptions every year. Antibiotics also must be dosed high enough to kill all of the infecting bacteria, but doctors write over 225,000 prescriptions per year for antibiotics at doses that are too low for the patient (because they don't READ the dosing guidelines). Antibiotics must also be taken for a long enough time to effectively eradicate the infection, yet doctors write over 150,000 prescriptions per year for less than the proper time needed for the particular antibiotic.

    Doctors are going to be the death of us all.

    November 21, 2013 at 7:21 am |
  29. john vance

    From the start of the antibiotic era there were those who felt it would be a short-lived reprieve. Microorganisms can adjust faster than we can make new drugs. We'll eventually have to develop a technique to train our own bodies to control or live with these little buggers more effectively.

    November 21, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Mass Produced

      It's called evolution through natural selection. Humans will evolve with the bugs. Lots of humans will die, but the ones that remain will be able to fight off the bugs.

      We've interfered with that process and made our entire species vulnerable to rapid extinction in the process.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  30. Jim O

    Hey Dr. Tom Frieden, how come under the subheading "Improve Use" you did not include "leaders in agriculture?" Almost the entire population of farmed animals such as chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows are given antibiotics to increase yield and decrease production time. How can this not be a major factor in this problem. Why do the people knowledgeable of this topic, such as Dr. Tom Frieden, apply ignorance in this regard?

    November 21, 2013 at 8:05 am |
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.