The challenge is how to quickly determine which patients really need powerful drugs and which do not. Good antibiotic stewardship is a race against the clock. If patients need those drugs and don’t receive them in a timely manner, it may become too late to help them.
In 2015, the CRE strain of KPC (Klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemase) took the lives of seven patients at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center near Washington, D.C. According to the CDC, the first reported CRE case occurred in a North Carolina Hospital in 2001, and since then, cases have been identified in 41 states.
While plague in Madagascar is not unusual, the 2017 Madagascar plague outbreak was one of the most severe in recent history. As serious as this public health threat is, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are trying to calm the hysteria being fueled by exaggerated claims in popular media.
Bacteria are constantly evolving, so even if we are able to develop an arsenal of new drugs, we will always need to stay one step ahead of the bugs. For that reason, we need to use diagnostics tests to help doctors prescribe antibiotics more accurately.