An Untreatable Superbug Was Just Found in a U.S. Woman for the First Time

Paying close attention to how and when we use antibiotics is more important than ever.

A superbug that cannot be treated with even the strongest of last-resort antibiotics has just been reported for the first time in the United States.

The dangerous strain was found in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman with a rare E. coli infection. After various antibiotics failed to kill the bacteria, doctors attempted to use Colistin — a last-resort medication used when other methods fail — and not even that has worked, according to CNN.

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Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made the announcement on May 27 that they are looking for other instances of the superbug. No details were released about the woman or how she contracted the infection. But, according to the report, she hasn't left the States in five months.

According to the CDC, at least 2 million people in the United States become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year and at least 23,000 people die annually because of the infections. The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance "one of the biggest threats to global health today," and recommends only using antibiotics when prescribed by a medical professional, always taking the full prescription, and never using leftover antibiotics.

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