(CBS News) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new report Wednesday warning that superbugs that resist antibiotics have killed nearly twice as many people as previously thought.
Maryann Webb spent three years in unending pain, hooked up to feeding tubes, with frequent hospitalizations, all caused by an out of control bacterial infection called C. difficile that caused severe colitis.
“You can’t eat. You can’t talk. You can’t walk. And hope definitely starts to fade,” Webb said.
At one point she got her affairs in order, certain she would not survive.
“I remember just crying to myself, I was just saying, please, I would just wanna leave now,” Webb said.
C. difficile caused nearly a quarter of a million hospitalizations and at least 12,800 deaths in 2017. It’s one of five antibiotic-resistant urgent threats identified in the report. Two of them were newly added since 2013. One, the fungus Candida auris, wasn’t even on the CDC’s radar five years ago.
But there’s some good news in the report. Since 2013, there has been an 18% drop in deaths from all types of antibiotic-resistant infections.
“It’s not just new antibiotics that we need. We also need new vaccines, new diagnostics and other new tools to help doctors better treat their patients or better prevent infections in the first place,” said Michael Craig, the CDC advisor for antibiotic resistance.
Wood finally got better from a procedure that transferred bacteria from a well patient’s gut into hers.
The overuse of antibiotics has helped create these resistant bacteria. So with cold and flu season around the corner, the CDC is reminding everyone that antibiotics are not recommended for infections caused by viruses, like the common cold.
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