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CDC worried about increase in antibiotic-resistant superbugs

At some point, most Illinois residents have likely been prescribed an antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are readily prescribed to treat infections such as strep throat and ear infections. Additionally, doctors are often quick to administer antibiotics to patients suspected of suffering some sort of bacterial infection when the source of such an illness may in fact be viral in nature.

The overprescribing of antibiotics has resulted in some patients developing resistance to certain antibiotics and the rise of so-called superbugs. Clostridium difficult or C. diff is one of the most common and potentially dangerous bacteria that readily affect patients who have developed resistance to antibiotics. Individuals stricken with C. diff often develop dangerous infections as well as serious bouts of diarrhea.

Fears surrounding the rise of drug-resistant superbugs have prompted the Centers for Disease Control to call upon doctors and hospitals to more closely monitor antibiotic use. Suggested methods for monitoring antibiotic use recommended by the CDC include educating medical professionals about potential dangers associated with overprescribing antibiotics. Additionally, doctors and hospitals are advised to closely track and report on those patients who appear to develop resistance to antibiotics.

Individuals who develop bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics may suffer serious injuries and even death. Doctors and hospitals believed to overprescribe antibiotics may be guilty of exposing patients to dangerous and deadly drug-resistant bacteria. In these cases, legal action may be taken against individual doctors and medical institutions believed to be negligent in contributing to an individual’s injuries and even death.

Source: CNN Health, “CDC: Hospitals contributing to rise of superbugs,” Katy Mersmann, March 5, 2014.

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