New data today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antimicrobial-resistant fungi cause more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths a year in the United States.

An additional 223,900 people suffer from Clostridoides difficile infections and at least 12,800 people die from that bacterium, according to the CDC’s updated report on antibiotic resistance threats.

The new numbers, based on electronic health data from more than 700 US hospitals, indicate that the burden of drug-resistant infections is significantly greater than suggested in the CDC’s 2013 report, which estimated 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths a year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial and fungal infections.

The CDC says that the numbers from that initial “snapshot” of the problem represented a conservative estimate, and many infectious experts have long believed that deaths and illness from antibiotic resistance are much higher.

Credit: Jennifer Oosthuizen CDC

Major threat, but lower death rates

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