Drug-resistant infections have increased in hospitals during the pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic, doctors and nurses have made furious efforts to protect themselves with gowns and masks and have rushed t...


At the height of the pandemic, doctors and nurses have made furious efforts to protect themselves with gowns and masks and have rushed to save the lives of critically ill Covid-19 patients with ventilators.

But these efforts, among other rescue measures, had a side effect: drug resistant infections have increased in hospitals.

The development, reported Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, occurred in part because drug-resistant bacteria thrived on reused protective gear, intravenous lines and medical equipment like ventilators.

In recent years, drug-resistant infections have become a stubborn, sometimes deadly problem. The threat has increased as various germs – including bacteria and fungi – have mutated and developed defenses that allow them to resist drugs and thrive; the germs particularly attack elderly and immunocompromised patients, limiting drug options to counter infections or, in extreme cases, leaving no effective treatment.

Huge efforts have been made in recent years to slow the growth of these harmful microbes which are increasingly resistant to treatment with various classes of drugs. In the second half of 2020, however, “at times those efforts have gone terribly wrong,” with so much emphasis on stopping transmission of Covid-19, according to a comment accompanying the new CDC study. writes that the best-known practices to stop the spread of drug-resistant infections have been ignored or subverted in the face of a greater threat.

Drug-resistant blood infections in hospitals rose 47% in the last three months of 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier. It was a radical change in momentum. In the first three months of 2020, those infections had fallen nearly 12% from the same period a year earlier, reflecting increased efforts at the time to stop the spread.

Similar trends emerged in infections attributed to ventilators, which increased 45% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year. During the same period, infections caused by a bacteria – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA – increased by 34% after decreasing in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Drug-resistant infections have increased in hospitals during the pandemic.
Drug-resistant infections have increased in hospitals during the pandemic.
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