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CDC says hospitals making progress against superbugs

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Staff writer ▼ | March 8, 2016
Although U.S. hospitals are making gains in the fight against some antibiotic-resistant superbugs, too many people are still getting these infections in health care facilities.
Infections   Doctors are the key to stamping out superbugs
And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to be at the forefront of the fight against these infections.

"Doctors are the key to stamping out superbugs," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a news conference Thursday.

Study senior author Dr. Clifford McDonald, said, "We are seeing progress in several areas, but more needs to be done." McDonald is the associate director for science of the division of healthcare quality promotion at the CDC.

More than 700,000 U.S. patients are infected by bacteria in hospitals, and 75,000 die from hospital-acquired infections each year, McDonald said.

"In some hospitals, more than one in four infections are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria," he added.

Frieden called the number of health care-associated infections "concerning" and "chilling."

"No one should get sick when they're trying to get well," he said.

People being treated for other conditions can become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria while in a health care facility. These bacteria can lead to body-wide infections (sepsis), or even death, CDC experts said.

In hospitals, one in seven infections from catheters or surgery was caused by antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. In long-term acute care hospitals, where patients generally stay 25 days or more, the rate of these infections rises to one in four, according to the new report.