Capitol Correspondence - 11.19.19

Government Underestimated Deaths / Infections by Superbugs

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People with intellectual / developmental disabilities can be particularly prone to infections due to factors such as chronic illness or behaviors that affect skin barriers, so ANCOR wanted to ensure our members saw this report by Politico Pro:

“The [Center for Disease Control’s (CDC)] new report on antibiotic resistance paints a mixed picture. It doubles CDC’s estimate of deaths from the earlier report, from 23,000 to 44,000, and increases the number of estimated infections with antibiotic-resistant organisms from 2 million to 2.6 million.

The new estimates were made using electronic health records, which give a more accurate picture of the antibiotic resistance crisis than the ICD diagnosis codes, death certificates and other data sources used previously.

The new numbers are ‘more accurate but likely still conservative,’ said Michael Craig, CDC’s senior adviser for antibiotic resistance. The agency may still have missed cases when people weren’t hospitalized or didn’t seek treatment, he said.

The report also describes a spike of sexually transmitted infections, and says the overall number of resistant infections has increased in 2019 to 2.9 million per year.

However, although their number increased, the number of people dying of the infections fell by 18 percent, to fewer than 36,000 annually, the new CDC report finds. It attributed the decline to successful prevention efforts, noting that the number of antibiotic-resistant infections that start in hospitals declined by 27 percent from 2012 to 2017.

But the number is still too high, the agency said, and some of the most difficult to tackle infections — those that begin in the community, rather than in hospitals — are increasing.”