Health

Drug-resistant bacteria soars in hospitals: What makes superbugs medicine’s biggest challenge

The infections superbugs cause now kill more than a million people a year globally, and a new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the pandemic caused them to surge in hospitals, after several years of decline. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP)

More than two years and at least a dozen mutations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the novel coronavirus is still the world’s biggest medical headline. But according to many doctors and public health researchers, it is not humanity’s greatest medical challenge. That title is reserved for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs.

The infections that cause superbugs now kill more than a million people a year worldwide, and a new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the pandemic was causing them to increase in hospitals after several years of decline.

dr. Chris Murray is chair of health statistics at the University of Washington. His research on superbugs was published in the Lancet in January. here nows Robin Young talks to him about the CDC analysis and the future of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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