Antibiotic Resistant Diseases

What are antibiotic resistant diseases?

Antibiotic or antimicrobial resistant diseases are bacteria, viruses, fungus or parasites that do not respond to some types of antimicrobial medications. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, is an example of a resistant disease. Other diseases that may be resistant to antimicrobial mediations include:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE)
  • Influenza

Why should I be concerned about resistant diseases?

People infected with resistant organisms are more likely to have longer and more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to have serious after effects as a result of the infection. When medications don’t effectively treat a disease they require second or third choice drugs that may be less effective, more toxic, and more expensive. This means that patients with an antimicrobial-resistant infection may suffer more and pay more for treatment.

What is being done to reduce the occurrence of resistant diseases?

The Gloucester County Department of Health monitors all communicable diseases and conditions. Surveillance includes reports from hospitals, primary care practitioners, laboratory reports and notification from institutions and residents. We frequently provide education and guidance to schools and institutions regarding communicable diseases including antibiotic resistant diseases. The New Jersey Department of Health has endorsed a plan to combat antimicrobial resistance (www.state.nj.us/health/cd/mrsa/index.shtml ) and supports the national antimicrobial initiative (www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/index.html ).