The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated from 2019 to 2020, there was a 15% increase in the number of superbug infections as well as deaths related to these infections.
These superbugs are often resistant to antibiotics, and other medications typically used to combat illnesses. Pre-pandemic, the CDC was progressing in combating superbugs.
When viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens no longer react to the drugs used to kill them, they are known as drug-resistant. This is one of the greatest threats to the public’s health, according to the World Health Organization.
The report also found there to have been around 30,000 deaths due to superbug infections in 2020.
18 drug-resistant superbugs are monitored by the CDC throughout the country and Puerto Rico. Due to a decrease in the amount of data collected during the pandemic, the CDC could only get information for about half of the superbugs that it typically monitors.
The deputy director of the CDC, Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, aided in reviewing the report and has seen at least two concerns that should be brought to light.
One of the concerns is simply the overall increase in the number of infections. The other concern is the organisms that the CDC could not collect data on, as they were transmitted in the community rather than in a hospital setting.
One of the potential causes of this spike is that almost 80% of COVID-19 patients received an antibiotic from March 2020 to October 2020.
As most of these patients were not infected with bacteria, but with a virus, the antibiotic allegedly did them more harm than good.