We're losing the battle against bacteria. Can we win the war?
Subscriber content preview. or Sign In
We’ve come to assume that just about any bug we’re saddled with–from strep to staph–can be wiped out with a quick round of antibiotics. But in the U.S. alone, roughly 2 million people every year get infections that can’t be treated with antibiotics, and 23,000 of them die as a result. The bacteria to blame, so-called superbugs, are now present in every corner of the planet, according to a landmark report from the World Health Organization (WHO). In some countries, about 50% of people infected with K. pneumoniae or E. coli bacteria won’t respond to our most powerful antibiotics, say global health experts.