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Death by Infection: Bacteria in a Post-Antibiotic World

From: Robert Frederick
Series: The Conjectural
Length: 06:44

The number of people dying from infections is likely to rise over in the coming years as more and more bacteria become drug-resistant. One of them, C. difficile, is already killing as many people in the U.S. as are car crashes.

Antibiotics_small The number of people dying from infections is likely to rise over in the coming years as more and more bacteria become drug-resistant. One of them, C. difficile, is already killing as many people in the U.S. as are car crashes.

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Transcript

Reporter: Robert Frederick
The drug-resistant bacterium is Clostridium difficile, which had been considered a hospital problem because that’s where most people were getting infected.

Interviewee: Archie Clements
However, it’s becoming much more of a community problem.

Reporter: Robert Frederick
Archie Clements is an infectious disease epidemiologist at Australian National University. Clostridium difficile is a real problem in Australia, too.

Interviewee: Archie Clements
There are a lot more cases of Clostridium difficile being identified in the community — in people who are not in hospital, haven’t been in hospital — which suggests that there is a lot of transmission of Clostridium difficile happening out there in the community.

Reporter: Robert Frederick
The reason that’s happening isn’t exactly clear. What’s known for certain: transmission happens via spores, and people infected w...
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Intro and Outro

INTRO:

The number of people dying from infections is likely to rise over in the coming years as more and more bacteria become drug-resistant. Already in the United States, one superbug sickens more than half a million people each year, and kills an estimated 29,000 people — which is about the same number as die each year in the U.S. from car crashes. As freelance journalist Robert Frederick reports, researchers still don’t know how exactly this particular superbug is spreading in the community.

OUTRO:

Robert Frederick is a freelance science reporter. Find him at TheConjectural.com.

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Related Website

http://www.TheConjectural.com