Superbugs Are A 'Costly War We Can't Win': Doctors

Mark Koba | CNBC | April 4, 2013

Germs are perfect machines of evolution. Their ability to mutate and survive attempts (by humans and nature) to destroy them has led to some being called "superbugs."

Resistant to existing antibiotics, superbug-related infections worldwide result in thousands of deaths each year—an estimated 99,000 in the U.S. alone for each of the past 10 years.

These bacteria not only take a tragic toll on human life but involve major costs. A new study by reports that superbugs are responsible for $20 billion in excess health care costs in the U.S. annually, as well as $35 billion in lost wages and other societal costs from the almost eight million days that infected patients spend in the hospital.

"We are in a crisis situation," said Dr. Cesar Arias, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas Health Science Center.