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New California bill may create precedence for ‘superbug’ tracking

by AirTalk®

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The staph bacterium is resistant to most common antibiotics and has been responsible for more than nearly 19,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A bill was introduced this week to make it mandatory to track antibiotic resistant or “superbug” related deaths and infections in California.

As reported in Reuters, SB 43 was proposed by State Senator Jerry Hill, and would require doctors to report superbug-related deaths on death certificates. Superbug related infections currently lack tracking of any kind in the state, which prevents the federal government from allocating funds for research on this growing medical threat. A recent Reuters investigation found that over an 11 year period, California identified more deaths related to antibiotic resistant infections than any other state--a whopping 20,000. That number is likely only a fraction of actual deaths related to these infections, as it only indicates recorded fatalities connected to superbugs. SB 43 would also make California a leader in superbug tracking, as the federal government does not currently tract these infections and deaths due to antibiotic resistant infections.

But without mandated tracking, hospitals that do their due diligence reporting these infections and infection related deaths could be faced with liability issues, and a damaged reputation.

Larry speaks to Reuters reporter, Yasmeen Abutaleb, today to find out more about SB 43 and what it could mean for the future of “superbug” tracking.

Guest:

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Reuters reporter who’s been following the story on SB 43 and co-author of the article, “The Uncounted: The deadly epidemic America is ignoring;” she tweets @yabutaleb7

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