Drug-resistant infections in the US have risen sharply during the pandemic, and experts warn it’s getting worse as COVID patients overwhelm hospital resources

The overuse of antibiotics has led to a rise in drug-resistant bacteria over time. These “superbugs” pose an especially dire threat in hospitals, where an antibiotic-resistant germ like MRSA could leave an already sick patient without any treatment options.

According to a recent study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the increase in these infections was exacerbated by COVID-19, as hospitals overflowed with severely ill coronavirus patients in 2020. 

Superbugs were a topic of concern in the medical community long before COVID-19 was in our vocabulary, Helen Boucher, an infectious disease doctor at Tufts Medical Center and interim dean of Tufts University School of Medicine, told Insider.

But the dual threat of the coronavirus and drug resistance ups the stakes, and it’s increasing the risk of death for COVID-19 patients.

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