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CDC August 2015 Vital Signs Report

The CDC has released the August 2015 Vital Signs Report, Stopping the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance.

Antibiotic-resistant germs, those that no longer respond to drugs designed to kill them, cause more than 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the US.

Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat

Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) causes close to a half a million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S.

The report shows that C. difficile and drug-resistant bacteria like CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa– spread inside of and between health care facilities when appropriate infection control actions are not in place and patients transfer from one facility to another for care. These infections can lead to serious health complications, including sepsis and death. Even those facilities that follow recommended infection control and antibiotic use practices are at risk if they receive patients who carry these germs from other facilities.


2 million
Antibiotic-resistant germs cause more than 2 million illness and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S.

Up to 70% fewer patients will get *CRE over 5 years if facilities coordinate to protect patients.

Preventing infections and improving antibiotic prescribing could save 37,000 lives drom drug-resistant infections over 5 years.

*Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae


vital-signsDramatic increase in drug resistance without immediate action

This CDC report includes mathematical modeling that projects increases in drug-resistant infections without immediate, nationwide improvements in infection control and antibiotic prescribing.

Working together is vital

These data clearly show that we could see fewer antibiotic-resistant infections if healthcare facilities and public health officials work together as a team and coordinated their patient infection information to guide interventions. It is estimated that 70 percent of life-threatening CRE infections over 5 years could be prevented with a coordinated approach.

Enhanced infection control and improved antibiotic stewardship by an individual facility alone does not have the same impact as facilities across the area working together. CEOs, administrators and clinicians must also work together on antimicrobial resistance prevention activities include antimicrobial stewardship programs and infection control actions.

This Vital Signs report recommends a two-part approach to turn these data into action that prevents illness and saves lives:

1. Public health departments track and alert health care facilities to drug-resistant germ outbreaks in their area and the threat of germs coming from other facilities, and

2. Health care facilities work together and with public health authorities to implement shared infection control actions to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs and C. difficile between facilities.


CDC Vital Signs

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