HEALTH -- September 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM ET
When antibiotics can't cure us from "nightmare bacteria"
In an alarming report, the Centers for Disease Control conservatively estimates more than 2 million people get sick with antibiotic-resistant infections each year in the United States and 23,000 die as a result.
The CDC report is the first of its kind to give hard numbers on the number of people affected by these germs, and it classifies types of bacteria based on the severity of the threat it poses to human health, as urgent, serious or concerning.
The threat of antibiotic resistance has increased primarily because of the increased use of antibiotics, which are, in up to 50 percent of cases, unnecessarily or inappropriately prescribed.
"If we don't act now, our medicine cabinet will be empty and we won't have the antibiotics we need to save lives."
Infographics by Centers for Disease Control.