WHO sounds alarm on antibiotic-resistant superbugs - New York News

WHO sounds alarm on antibiotic-resistant superbugs

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A study from the World Health Organization is considered the most complete global picture on anti-biotic resistant bacteria. 114 countries were surveyed.

The results: the spread of deadly superbugs is no longer a problem of the future. It is a serious public health concern right now. For example, MRSA (a powerful staph infection) kills more people in the United States each year than HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Dalilah Restrepo, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Mt. Sinai Hospital, says that now more than ever, even on a daily basis, she is seeing patients with common infections that can no longer be treated with typical antibiotics. She says that urinary tract and mild respiratory infections can sometimes require hospitalization because patients don't respond as well to antibiotics.

What Dr. Restrepo is seeing in New York City is just a small sampling of what the World Health Organization now says is a global health crisis. Superbugs that are now able to evade antibiotics have been detected in all corners of the world.

So how did this happen? The WHO and many doctors agree that drug resistance is the result of misuse and overuse of antibiotics. They say this forces bacteria to create new ways to outsmart the medicine.

Dr. Restrepo says listening to grandma may still be the best remedy: wash your hands and keep your skin intact; it's the best barrier you're born with.

President Obama's proposed budget calls for $30 million a year to address the superbug threat through new regional labs and other programs.

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