That's about 35,000 deaths each year from drug-resistant infections, the landmark report said.
The report lists five drug-resistant super-bugs on the CDC's "Emergency Threat" list – two more microbes than they were on the CDC's 2013 list, the last time the agency released a report on antibiotic resistance.
Genetic research has shown that bacteria have become especially adept at teaching one another how to overcome antibiotics.
"Some miraculous remedies no longer work miracles," the report said.
The report notes that while large bug infections in hospitals have declined, some infections caught elsewhere – anywhere in the community – have increased.
Anyone can catch a superbag anywhere
While superbugs usually attack feeble, old people, anyone can arrange a superbag.
Peggy Lillis was a healthy, vibrant 56-year-old Brooklyn teacher who woke up one morning 10 years ago with severe diarrhea.
"As a kindergarten teacher, she assumed she had caught something from one of the children or perhaps had food poisoning. She did not consider it to be a serious threat. None of us did, ”recalls her son, Christian Lillis.
Five days later, Peggy was so sick that she could barely move.
Peggy's kidneys were starting to fail, and she went into septic shock.
"The doctors at the hospital where she was treated – they did everything they could for her," Christian said. "But bacteria grow at a rate we don't maintain."
Christian says they will never know exactly where or when his mother collected J.'s bacteria. def.
Two days before she got sick, Peggy's dentist prescribed an antibiotic called clindamycin to prevent root canal infection.
Now her family wonders if that preventive antibiotic is necessary.
"My mom was probably the best person I've known in my life," Christian said. "What we will not accept is that our mother's death will be in vain."
Five superbags on the emergency list
C. Diff is the deadliest antibiotic-resistant germ on the CDC emergency list, causing 12,800 deaths a year in the United States.
The other two urgent 2013 germs are carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, and drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a sexually transmitted infection.
This year CDC added two more: carbapenem-resistant bacteria Acinetobacter and Candida auris, a fungus.
The report classified 11 additional bacteria and fungi as serious threats, two worrying, and four others on the agency's "watch list".
The death toll from these antibiotic-resistant bacteria declined by 18% from the 2013 report, largely due to a significant reduction in superbag deaths in hospitals from 2012 to 2017.
"The CDC recognizes that hospital prevention programs have already achieved success," the report said.
However, there is still room for improvement: About 85% of deaths from drug-resistant bacteria are caused by bacteria commonly found in hospitals and other health facilities, such as nursing homes.
The CDC report notes that for the first time the agency used electronic medical records to calculate antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths. This led them to discover that the number of infections and deaths in 2013 was higher than previously estimated.
As hospital conditions improve, some out-of-hospital upgrades are on the rise.
"CDC is concerned about the increase in community-resistant infections, [which] puts more at risk and hinders the spread of identification and content – and threatens the progress made in protecting patients in healthcare, ”the new report said.
Some top bugs in the community have figured out how to "teach" each other how to fight antibiotics by sharing their resistance genes with each other.
"Basically it is targeting the crowd," Craig added. "They can direct their resistance to other bacteria."
Resistance to antibiotic resistance
The answer to the crisis of antibiotic resistance is not a more powerful antibiotic, according to a new report.
Antibiotics are slow to market, and the bacteria will one day make them ineffective, however, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield notes in his introduction to the report.
"We need to adopt aggressive strategies that keep bacteria away and infections do not appear in the first place," Redfield wrote.
The key is less to use antibiotics. With less exposure, bacteria have less opportunity to learn how to fight them.
The CDC estimates that about one-third of antibiotic prescriptions in emergency rooms and doctors' offices were given for infections they didn't need. That's 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions every year.
Some experts accuse doctors of meeting patients' requirements for antibiotics for non-bacterial infections, such as viral sore throats and sinus infections.
Craig stressed that better tests and tools need to be developed, as doctors may now find it difficult to determine if the patient needs an antibiotic.
"We don't have a good diagnosis for certain infections, so we can't always tell if someone has a viral infection or a bacterial infection," he said.
Dr. Anthony Shoach, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, points out that whether it is overuse in humans or animals, because antibiotic resistance is largely a human problem, it requires human solutions.
"We are the problem. We've seen the enemy and that's us, "he said.
But Fouchi added that if doctors, patients and public health officials work together, it may be possible to prevent the tide of antibiotic-resistant infections.
"I think we can. I really do. "He said. "But it will take a global, concerted effort."