Health

Antibiotic Resistance Could Be ‘Next Pandemic,’ CDC Says

In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,in Atlanta. The agency released its first progress report Thursday, and CDC officials said they're mostly pleased.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The agency released its first progress report Thursday, and CDC officials said they’re mostly pleased. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

(USA Today) – Antibiotic resistance that turns ordinary disease-causing bacteria into illnesses that can’t be controlled could bring about the “next pandemic,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden warned at a National Press Club event Tuesday.

Frieden also addressed a series of laboratory safety lapses that brought CDC lab precautions to the public spotlight. But he devoted much of his attention Tuesday to other threats still facing public health.

Frieden brought attention to the growing trend of antibiotic-resistant bacteria — which can cause patients to “enter the hospital with one disease and leave with another,” Frieden said. Antibiotics and similar drugs — referred to under the umbrella of anti-microbrial agents — have been commonly used to treat infections and diseases for the past 70 years. However, their common use has caused some bacteria to mutate and become resistant to these drugs, according to the CDC.

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