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Deadly Superbugs Pose Greater Threat Than Previously Estimated

Drug-resistant bacteria and fungi cause more than 2.8 million infections, 35,000 deaths a year, CDC reports.

Drug-resistant germs and related infections sicken about 3 million people and kill about 48,000 every year in the United States, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new estimates show that previous figures missed about half of the illnesses and deaths.

On average, someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection about every 10 seconds, and about every 11 minutes, someone dies.

The long-awaited report, released Wednesday, establishes a new national baseline of infections and deaths from bacteria and fungi that have developed the ability to defeat drugs designed to kill them. Scientists, doctors and public health officials have increasingly warned that antibiotic resistance is one of the gravest public health threats of our time.

The new numbers, though still conservative, underscore the magnitude of the problem and will help prioritize resources to address the most pressing threats, infectious diseases experts said. These germs spread through people, animals and the environment.

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