With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again promoting U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (November 18–24) to patients and clinicians alike, new data underscore the deadly consequences of failing to heed accepted prescribing guidelines. The CDC’s 2019 Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report reveals that roughly 35,000 American die every year due to drug-resistant infections, whereas in years past the estimate was approximately 23,000 fatalities. Total number of antibiotic-resistant infections is over 2.8 million. As the CDC points out, that means someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds—and someone dies every 15 minutes, on average. As always, the agency strongly recommends prescribing antibiotics only for the pathogens for which the drugs are indicated. That means not prescribing for viral illness, even if patients insist they “need” medication for whatever virus they’re wrestling with. The entire CDC report is available here. If you’re interested in learning more about what antibiotic stewardship “looks like” at the ground level, join JUCM for a webinar entitled Antibiotic Stewardship in Urgent Care. It will take place on Tuesday, November 19, from 2 to 3 pm, Eastern. Registration is free.
CDC Report: Antibiotic Resistance Is Killing More Americans Than Ever