Hospitalization During COVID-19 Pandemic in US Linked to Antimicrobial Resistance Increase
(Photo : ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images) TOPSHOT – An elderly person with an undisclosed illness arrives on a stretcher, and is admitted to NYU Langone Health Center hospital on March 23, 2020 in New York City. – Anxiety ratcheted up across New York, the epicenter of America’s coronavirus pandemic, Monday with streets eerily quiet at the start of the working week as officials warn the crisis will worsen.As the number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19 soars towards 500, the Big Apple finds itself at Ground Zero in the fight to stem the fast-breaking outbreak.

A new study on COVID-19 suggests that the antibiotics administered to coronavirus patients during the pandemic might have been inducing the increase of superbugs recorded in recent years. In other research, it was shown that people who are infected by superbugs surged as the pandemic prevailed in the months after its confirmation.

Antimicrobial Resistance Surged During Coronavirus Pandemic

Hospitalization During COVID-19 Pandemic in US Linked to Antimicrobial Resistance Increase

(Photo : ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT – An elderly person with an undisclosed illness arrives on a stretcher, and is admitted to NYU Langone Health Center hospital on March 23, 2020 in New York City. – Anxiety ratcheted up across New York, the epicenter of America’s coronavirus pandemic, Monday with streets eerily quiet at the start of the working week as officials warn the crisis will worsen.As the number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19 soars towards 500, the Big Apple finds itself at Ground Zero in the fight to stem the fast-breaking outbreak.

The study, carried out by experts from the United States, serves as a response to the alarming rates of antibiotic-resistant cases when treating particular bacterial infections in the country. The increase was discovered rising significantly compared to the rates prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, StudyFinds reports.

Additionally, drug-resistant infections were detected in patients who were hospitalized during the surge of the coronavirus. What puzzles the medical community is that these infections infiltrate the systems of people with or without a history of coronavirus.

Authors Vikas Gupta and Karri Bauer explained in their recent paper that since 2019, an estimated 1.2 million individuals have died due to antibiotic-resistant infections. In their prediction, this rate is likely to rise to 10 times by 2050.

Throughout the pandemic, health specialists had been putting efforts to treat coronavirus patients from the disease without risking the development of secondary infections of antimicrobial resistance.

The latest study, titled “Multi-centre evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on antimicrobial resistance across United States hospitals,” emphasized that the increase in antibiotic use during the pandemic and the disruption of treatments, prevention, and control related to other conditions most likely induced the increase in life-threatening bacterial infections.

The research was made possible through the data collected from observations of patients aged 18 and over. The investigation included their hospitalization status in one of 271 US-based facilities that were selected by the authors.

Each of the subjects was confirmed to stay in the hospital for at least one day. The group includes individuals who tested positive for COVID and those that did not have a history of the viral infection.

US Hospitalization Associated with Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

The examination observed a total of almost 1.8 million hospitalized patients between July 1, 2019, to February 29, 2020, prior to the confirmation of the pandemic. Another group of approximately 3.7 million was confirmed admitted to facilities during the pandemic, between March 1, 2020, to October 30, 2021.

During the pre-pandemic, about 63,000 who went to the hospital had antimicrobial resistance, and this doubled to over 129,000 during the pandemic.

Antimicrobial resistance rates from each 100 hospital admissions dropped from 3.54 to 3.47 during the pandemic. However, the antibiotic-resistant infections per 100 pandemic patients admitted increased to 4.92.

Patients who developed antimicrobial resistance during their stay in the hospital had rates of 0.77 per 100 admissions which increased to 0.86 later during the pandemic. People who tested positive for the coronavirus hit a rate of 2.19 per 100 admissions.

Bauer explained in a press release that the results give substantial insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic influences the rates of antimicrobial resistance of admitted patients in the US.

The fluctuations serve as a reference for experts to improve forecasting trends and outbreaks, as well as for healthcare authorities to select the most essential resources for antimicrobial resistance initiatives, Gupta said.

The findings were presented at the 2022 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).

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