The number of people who die from drug-resistant bacteria each year has shot above 23,000.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enabled these figures to show the increasing threat of germs which have grown drug resistant to antibiotics and hence very difficult to treat. According to Dr. Helen Boucher, a Tufts University expert, "We're facing a catastrophe."
Antibiotics have been used to save many lives and have helped control and fight the germs behind many illnesses. But, experts say that in many cases some antibiotics have just stopped working and this is mostly due to misuse or overuse of these drugs.
According to the CDC more than 2 million people go on to develop serious infections and statistics show that staph infection MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, destroys nearly 11,000 people annually. Often, doctors use the most powerful of antibiotics, usually considered the last resort in this hard-to-treat bugs.
"If we're not careful, the medicine chest will be empty" said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
Hospital infection control efforts have always targeted the MRSA bacteria which most often stay on the skin without portraying any symptoms and become lethal when it gains entry into the blood stream.