Superbugs — germs that have evolved to become resistant to antibiotics and other medical treatments — are on the loose, infecting more than 2 million people in the U.S. every year and killing at least 23,000.
But a new analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that coordinated efforts to combat antibiotic-resistant infections could reduce the number of infections in healthcare facilities by more than half a million over the course of five years.
“If you’re a hospital doing a great job but the hospital down the street isn’t, your patients are at risk,” said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, during a phone call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. “Facilities that go it alone can’t protect their own patients.”
Combating deadly antibiotic-resistant infections, which spread easily through and between healthcare facilities and are increasingly difficult to treat, has been a major push for the public health agency.