by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:ATLANTA —
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says antibiotics can no longer fight certain infectious bacteria and it's calling it one of the top threats to public health.
"There are some patients that have infections and we don't have an antibiotic to take off the shelf to give to them,” Dr. Arjun Srinivasan told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
Srinivasan said those instances are rare. But, if the United States doesn’t act, he said we will reach the end of the antibiotics era.
"Antibiotics are a precious resource that are rapidly losing their effectiveness to treat the infections that we count on them every day to treat,” Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan said resistant bacteria cause a variety of illnesses from skin infections to sexually transmitted diseases.
He told Kavanaugh if things don't change, even simple infections will become deadly.
CDC officials maintain the overuse of antibiotics is one the main reasons for increased resistance. They are urging the public to use antibiotics responsibly.
Experts also say hygiene is an important key to preventing infections and the spread of bacteria.
The CDC will continue to track resistance patterns as they urge companies to develop new drugs.
Srinivasan said the message is not to stop using antibiotics, but stop and think before you do.
“This is one of the top public health threats that we face," Srinivasan said.
He said another issue at hand is use of antibiotics in agriculture. Srinivasan said it is another area where health officials are looking to raise public awareness.