Unnecessary prescription of antibiotics kill 12 people every five hours.
More than two million people are infected by drug-resistant germs each year, and 23,000 die of their infections, federal health officials reported Monday. The biggest killer by far is C. difficile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in its first big overview of a growing problem.
Doctors have been warning of the problem for decades, yet up to half the prescriptions written for antibiotics are unnecessary, the CDC report says. And all these unneeded antibiotics are making the superbug problem worse.