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Now is the Time to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance was a significant problem before COVID-19, and the increase of superbug infections isn’t going away. What’s more, the pandemic has caused an increase in superbug infections and deaths in U.S. hospitals, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC report, COVID-19: U.S. Impact on Antimicrobial Resistance, found that in the first year alone of the pandemic – 2020 – there was a 15% increase in AMR infections and deaths overall compared to the year before among several serious pathogens. This is in addition to the drug-resistant bacteria and fungi that already infect 2.8 million Americans each year, claiming as many as 35,000 lives. In fact, according to the CDC, on average, someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds, and every 15 minutes someone dies.

Consider some of the report’s other findings among the most highly drug-resistant bacteria.

  • 78% increase in infections for Acinetobacter, which causes bloodstream and urinary tract infections

  • 60% increase in infections of Candida auris, a deadly superbug yeast

  • 35% increase in infections of Enterobacteriaceae, known as a “nightmare bacteria”

We at the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID) are committed to raising awareness of threats posed by infectious disease, and we encourage you to read the full report. We are also sharing some downloadable social media resources to further increase awareness of the report and the broader impact of AMR.

There is no doubt that AMR is a threat to all of us – and the pandemic revealed what’s at stake when the U.S. isn’t prepared for global health emergencies. The new CDC report underscores the urgency at which something must be done to address AMR and superbug infections. It’s also important to highlight the reality that we need new antibiotic and antifungal drug development to tackle these increasingly difficult-to-treat infections.

Thankfully, there is a solution working its way through Congress right now. The PASTEUR Act will address the challenges in the antimicrobial marketplace and encourage the development of much-needed medicines.

Please join us in calling on your representative to support the PASTEUR Act and for Congress to move forward on addressing this urgent public health crisis now.


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