CDC issues ‘serious public health alert’ over nationwide spike in drug-resistant stomach bug

CDC issues ‘serious public health alert’ over nationwide spike in drug-resistant stomach bug that infects half a million Americans each year

America is facing a ‘serious public health threat’ over a spike in antibiotic-resistant stomach bug infections, officials have warned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned in an advisory Friday that they were now recording a five percent rise in antibiotic-resistant cases of shigellosis compared to before the pandemic.

Naeemah Logan, a CDC medical officer, said that these ‘superbug’ infections are a ‘serious public health threat, and we want to ensure that providers are aware of the increasing potential for antibiotics to fail’.

Officials are detecting resistance to five antibiotics commonly used to treat the infection in more severe cases. It infects about 450,000 people every year, but most cases do not need the medication.

Scientists remain vigilant for antibiotic-resistant bacteria because these could render widely used treatments useless. Last month, Massachusetts raised the alarm after it spotted America’s first cases of super-gonorrhea.

Cases of antibiotic resistant shigella are on the rise in the US, the CDC has warned (Stock image) 

Shigellosis, triggered by the bacteria shigella, leaves patients suffering bloody diarrhea, stomach pain and fever.

The disease is most common in children under five years old, but it can infect people at any age. The CDC says there is a rise in cases among adults.

Normally, patients do not require any antibiotics to treat the infection — needing only fluids and rest.

But the drugs are offered to people who have weakened immune systems because of an HIV infections or chemotherapy.

The CDC said that it has seen a recent increase in drug-resistant infections particularly among men who have sex with men, international travelers and people living with HIV or experiencing homelessness.