By Alexandra Sifferlin
September 7, 2014

Each day spent hospitalized increases the risk of infection from drug-resistant bacteria, researchers say.

In a new study presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, researchers looked at 949 cases of infection from a drug-resistant bug called Gram-negative bacteria between 1998 and 2011. The data showed that each day spent in a hospital increased the likelihood of a drug-resistant infection by an additional 1%.

Gram-negative bacteria infections are known to be a problem in acute health care, and can cause infections like pneumonia, bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and meningitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gram-negative bacteria are resistant to multiple drugs and are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

Overuse of certain drugs and antibiotics have allowed bugs to learn from them and mutate so that the drugs become less effective in treating disease. The CDC says at least 2 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and 23,000 people die from their infections.

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