One of humanity’s biggest threats is invisible to the naked eye. Drug-resistant microbes, including many common bacteria and yeasts, kill as many as 160,000 Americans each year — quadruple the number killed in car crashes. And the death toll may soon rise exponentially, because these “superbugs” are evolving faster than drug companies are developing new treatments.

Soon, drug-resistant microbial infections could kill more people than cancer. By 2050, the global body count is projected to surpass 10 million people a year.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey has just introduced a bipartisan bill that could help save many patients. The DISARM Act would encourage companies to develop antibiotics and expand access to the superbug treatments patients need. The legislation won’t solve the entire problem, but it’s an encouraging first step.

More from the Philadelphia Enquirer here.