Remite Ruben Piacentini

The coronavirus pandemic caused a surge in superbug infections and deaths in U.S. hospitals, reversing years of progress fighting one of the gravest public health challenges in modern medicine, according to a new analysis released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, infections and deaths among several serious pathogens increased about 15 percent overall from 2019, the report said. Infections of one especially dangerous drug-resistant bacteria that causes bloodstream and urinary tract infections skyrocketed 78 percent in one year.

The report analyzed antimicrobial resistance in the United States, focusing specifically on superbug infections that started in hospitals.

Public health efforts had driven down these resistant infections in hospitals by nearly 30 percent between 2012 and 2017. But in 2020, the pandemic pushed hospitals, health departments and communities “near their breaking points,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky wrote in the report. Read more…