The development of antibiotics in the 20th century was revolutionary. For the first time in history, we were equipped to combat previously incurable infectious diseases such as strep throat and tuberculosis, and the mortality rates associated with those diseases declined markedly. Widespread exposure in the current age, however, threatens to undo this incredible progress as more strains of bacteria become resistant to even our most powerful antibiotics.
The CDC classifies antibiotic-resistant bacteria — or “superbugs” — as one of the most “pressing health threats to face the world today.”1 This is because the more we are exposed to antibiotics, the more resistant our bodies become to their treatment.
2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year.
23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.
18 antibiotic-resistant organisms are classified by the CDC as “urgent,” serious,” or “concerning” threats.
Stopping the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria starts with taking a look at how we are exposed to antibiotics — both directly and indirectly — and considering how we can limit that exposure.
When people take antibiotics that aren’t necessary — such as when they have a virus — they kill off good bacteria and promote the evolution of bad bacteria that may not respond to antibiotics.
154 million prescriptions for antibiotics are written in doctor’s offices and emergency departments each year.
$10.7 billion was spent on antibiotics in 2009.3
Eliminating misuse can cut down exposure.
30% of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary.4
70% of people receive antibiotics for a sore throat; only 15-20% need them.5
50%of antibiotics written to treat patients with acute respiratory conditions are unnecessary.
When food-producing animals — particularly livestock — are treated with antibiotics, they can develop drug-resistant bacteria that can be transferred to humans.
30 million pounds of antibiotics are used to promote growth and control disease in livestock.
70%-80% of all antibiotics nationwide are used on livestock.6,7
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreads from livestock to people via: 8,9
Please note that this graphic is for informational purposes only. Individuals should consult their health care professionals before following any of the information provided. Nursing@Georgetown does not endorse any organizations or websites contained in this graphic.
Phone Number: 877-910-4692
Email Address: email@example.com
© Nursing@Georgetown | Master's In Nursing Delivered Online | Master's Nursing