CDC joins nationwide antimicrobial resistance efforts

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health recently announced a public health action plan targeted at antimicrobial resistance.

This resistance is an offshoot of germs changing in a way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of traditional medications, such as antibiotics. According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance in the United States costs an estimated $20 billion a year in excess health care costs, $35 million in other societal costs and more than 8 million additional days that people spend in the hospital. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is a particular problem for long-term care facilities and hospitals.

The plan to fight antimicrobial resistence presents goals on surveillance, prevention and control, research and product development.

The group encourages citizens to take part by not insisting physicians prescribe them antibiotics, and not saving or sharing the medications with others. Healthcare providers, meanwhile, are encouraged to promote prompt diagnosis and treatment of infections, prescribing antibiotics appropriately, and following infection prevention techniques such as hand-washing that will prevent the spread of drug-resistant infections. Comments on the plan will be accepted through Friday, April 15.

To read more about antimicrobial resistance visit the CDC's resistance efforts, click here.

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