How Federal Agencies Address Superbugs

Officials weigh in on their approaches to combating antibiotic resistance

How Federal Agencies Address Superbugs

Antibiotics are foundational to much of the modern medical care we take for granted today. These drugs are essential not only for treating routine infections such as strep throat, but they also make possible lifesaving treatments such as chemotherapy, dialysis, and surgery. However as alarming new types of multidrug-resistant bacteria continue to emerge, we are running out of effective antibiotics—and too few drugs currently in development have even the potential to treat these urgent threat pathogens. As Alex Azar, the U.S. secretary of health and human services, has said, “The promise of modern medicine itself is at stake.”

The United Nations, World Health Organization, and governments around the world have recognized antibiotic resistance as one of the most pressing public health threats of our time and committed to taking action. In the U.S., Congress has identified the issue as a national priority, providing bipartisan support for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, the fight against superbugs is far from over, and it is critical that this issue remains a priority.

In the following Q&As, leaders from federal agencies key to U.S. efforts to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria weigh in on this pressing public health issue, what they’re doing to address it, and what they believe needs to be done to win the war against superbugs.

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Antibiotic resistant bacteria
Antibiotic resistant bacteria
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Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Explained

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Where superbugs come from and what can be done to combat them. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose an urgent and growing public health threat.

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Antibiotic resistant bacteria

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Explained

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Antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance
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True Stories of Antibiotic Resistance

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Resistant infections affect people from all walks of life— –young and old, healthy and chronically ill. These illnesses often start with something seemingly benign, like a simple cut or a routine medical procedure.