(NPR.ORG) – Hospitals and nursing homes in California and Illinois are testing a surprisingly simple strategy to stop the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of people each year: washing patients with a special soap.
The efforts — funded with roughly $8 million from the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are taking place at 50 facilities in those two states.
This novel collaboration recognizes that superbugs don't remain isolated in one hospital or nursing home but move quickly through a community, said Dr. John Jernigan, who directs the CDC's office on health care-acquired infection research.
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"No health care facility is an island," Jernigan says. "We all are in this complicated network."
Medicare Penalizes Hospitals In Crackdown On Antibiotic-Resistant Infections
At least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with some type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and about 23,000 die from those infections, according to the CDC.