Drug-Resistant Urinary Tract Infections Are On The Rise: 5 Things To Know


 
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By Anne-Marie Kommers

Drug-resistant strains of urinary tract infections have been on the rise, resulting in more hospitalizations, serious illnesses and prolonged discomfort for patients.

Five things to know:

1. UTIs are among the world's most common infections, especially for women, and they were once easily treated with antibiotics.

2. Treatment is no longer so simple, however. A third of uncomplicated Escherichia coli-caused UTIs, the most common type, are resistant to Bactrim, one of the most popular drugs, and at least a fifth are resistant to five other common treatments, according to research from the New York City Department of Health. Several other types of UTIs also display resistance.

3. UTIs also present the largest risk to healthy people from drug-resistant germs, which are usually more common in those with weakened immune systems or serious medical conditions.

4. To combat the problem, experts suggest developing cheap tools allowing physicians to perform instant urine cultures and analyze them for resistance. Physicians can then prescribe medications accordingly. Yet lab tests can be costly and take several days.

5. Though data is scarce, the frequency of UTIs suggests increasing resistance will cause more serious illnesses and fatalities in the future, according to the World Health Organization.



 
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