This flowchart explains where antibiotic resistance comes from

How 2 million Americans end up with drug-resistant infections each year

Topics: antibiotic resistant bacteria, Livestock, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health, hospitals,

Antibiotic-resistant infections kill at least 23,000 Americans annually, the CDC announced Monday. From their self-titled “Threat Report 2013” comes a helpful illustration of just where the threat comes from, and how it spreads to the point that at least 2 million people end up infected each year:

“These drugs should only be used to treat infections.” That applies to people and animals, which, as the graph clearly shows, are closely connected — even for people who don’t eat meat.

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These drugs should not, as the National Pork Producer Council would have us believe, be used in livestock facilities for “treatment of illness, prevention of disease, control of disease, and nutritional efficiency of animals.” And yet, as Tom Philpott emphasizes on Mother Jones, that’s exactly what’s happening. Also happening: drug-resistant campylobacter, drug-resistant salmonella and MRSA, all of which can be linked to the inappropriate use of antibiotics in livestock.

h/t Mother Jones

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email

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