US aims to follow Britain’s lead in fighting superbugs

an image of the Stars & StripesWashington (AFP) – Some $30 million proposed by President Barack Obama could help hospitals fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistance much the way Britain has, US health authorities said Tuesday.

The extra funds for fiscal year 2015, if approved by Congress, would double the amount spent on efforts to cut back on overprescribing of antibiotics, a widespread trend that experts agree is contributing to dangerous superbugs and untreatable infections worldwide.

The money would help “establish a robust infrastructure that can detect antibiotic resistance threats and protect patients and communities,” said Tom Frieden, chief of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The goal is to reduce deadly infections that are often picked up by patients in hospital and long-term care settings by half in five years, he said.

Frieden also spoke to reporters about a new CDC Vital Signs report that found more than one third of antibiotics prescribed in hospitals might be unnecessary and could be fueling drug resistance.

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