According to NPR, California and Illinois are working to help stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, in 50 hospitals and nursing homes throughout the two states. Their method? They use a special soap – chlorhexidine – to more effectively kill the long-lasting germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stepped in with $8 million to aid in the states’ efforts.
According to the CDC, nearly 2 million people get infected each year with superbugs, and roughly 23,000 die annually. These infections run rampant throughout health care facilities. The elderly are particularly susceptible to diseases, and the nursing homes in which they reside are a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In fact, one study found that approximately 15 percent of patients in the hospital and 65 percent of nursing home residents carry organisms that are drug-resistant. While these numbers are alarming, the good news is not every carrier will become infected, Dr. Susan Huang told NPR.