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CDC Observes Antibiotics Awareness Week, Releases Action Plan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes U.S. Antibiotics Awareness Week from Nov. 18–24 to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and appropriate antibiotic use.

Health care providers have an important role to play in promoting and practicing antibiotic stewardship. More than 2.8 million infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria occur each year in the United States, resulting in more than 35,000 deaths.

CDC in October released The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB), 2020–2025. The CARB plan uses a One Health approach, which recognizes the relationships among the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment, with a particular focus on antibiotic resistance in the environment. The plan also emphasizes data collection to understand where resistance occurs, support new diagnostic and treatment development, and facilitate international coordination.

This year, the agency published the first Antimicrobial Use Option Report using National Healthcare Safety Network data from 1,222 facilities. The report captures the standardized antimicrobial administration ratio (SAAR) of observed antimicrobial days to predicted antimicrobial days for different antimicrobial agent categories in adult, pediatric, and neonatal settings. Health care providers can use SAAR distributions to set target goals for their own facilities.

The agency also updated its Antibiotic Use in the United States report and published a detailed toolkit with social media messages and educational resources for health care providers.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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