At an almost alarming rate, news stories about new “superbugs” are popping up around the world. Earlier this year, a patient in New York died from a drug-resistant salmonella infection. Two years ago, a woman in Nevada died of an incurable infection, resistant to all 26 antibiotics available to treat that infection. And recent reports from India reveal that superbugs have become the leading cause of death for leukemia patients.
Every year, 700,000 people die from incurable drug-resistant infections, a rate that some project will skyrocket to 10 million individuals per year in just 30 years. The United Nations has likened it to a crisis on par with HIV and Ebola.
How can we better predict and prevent these sorts of superbugs that have the potential to become the next global health crisis? Secretary Azar is leading an international coalition, the Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge, to ward off this threat; marked by cross-sector commitments to lessen antibiotic resistance. Yet, as he noted earlier this week at the United Nations, the problem continues to worsen as dozens of pathogens become resistant to treatments.