The White House’s Plan to Fight Superbugs

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Michael Smith, MD
Antibiotics are facing their toughest challenge ever, Superbugs. These bacteria strains are resistant to antibiotics, and they kill about 23-thousand people every year in the U.S. alone. The numbers are getting worse, so The White House has released a National Action Plan to fight the problem with the following 5 steps: 1) Slow the creation of resistant bacteria, and prevent infections from spreading. A big part of this is stopping the overuse of antibiotics in people, and our farm animals. This only helps the superbugs become resistant. 2) Improve how we track resistant bacteria. This includes creating a national network and database so we know what we’re up against as soon as possible. 3) Boost development of rapid tests to identify bacterial infections. This will help quickly and accurately identify when to use antibiotics. 4) Promote research for new antibiotics and vaccines. This is a big one. If antibiotics are getting less effective, we need to start looking for new treatments to replace them. And 5) Improve international collaboration on antibiotic resistance. We’re not alone in this fight, it’s a global problem, and we’re going to need a global solution. For WebMD, I’m Dr. Michael Smith.