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Resistance to medicines for combating superbugs has considerably worsened during the pandemic, with deaths and infections from several serious pathogens increasing at least 15% during the first year of the crisis, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The increased rates for some infections, however, were much larger. For instance, there was 78% jump among those infected with Acinetobacter, a gram-negative bacteria; a 60% rise in a fungal disease known as Candida auris, and a 32% percent rise in infections from another gram-negative bacteria, called Enterobacterales. These infections and others are resistant to antibiotics and antifungal medicines.


Moreover, after years of steady declines in health care-associated infections — which are acquired while receiving care for another condition at a health care facility — U.S. hospitals saw significantly higher rates for four out of six types of infections in 2020. During the first year of the pandemic, more than 29,400 people died from antimicrobial-resistant infections commonly associated with health care settings.

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