White House unveils action plan to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria
The plan will act as a guide for U.S. government agencies, as well as health care and veterinary professionals.
The goals of the plan are to slow the spread of resistant bacteria, prevent the increase of resistant infections, develop and use innovative diagnostic tests for resistant bacteria, improve national surveillance of the illnesses, speed the research and development of other treatment options, heighten international collaboration for preventing, observing and combatting antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Since penicillin was discovered in 1928, antibiotics have been an integral part of the public health system, saving countless lives around the world.
Unfortunately, bacteria have grown increasingly drug-resistant, erasing many of the health gains in the past 80 years. Because of these bacterial mutations, treatment options for bacterial infections have grown more and more expensive, limited and even nonexistent.
Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have estimated that approximately 2 million people get sick and 23,000 people die in the U.S. each year because of drug-resistant illnesses.