Skip to Content
Issue Brief Injury Prevention and Safety

How Can State and Local Health Departments Combat Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs?

May 6, 2021


Antibiotic resistance has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) as “one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.” Antibiotic resistance refers to bacteria or fungi that have developed resistance to existing antibiotics. Yearly in the U.S., there are more than 2.8 million antibiotic resistant infections resulting in greater than 35,000 deaths. The CDC estimates that these infections result in hospitalization health care costs of $4.6 billion annually. This means total costs of resistant infections could be higher as the estimate does not consider post-discharge health care costs and societal costs associated with these infections. Additionally, antibiotic use increased in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though COVID-19 is a virus which is not responsive to antibiotics. This issue brief provides resources and suggestions for state and local public health departments looking to address antibiotic resistance in their communities.