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Antibiotic Overprescription Rates a Concern on the High Plains

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CDC
/
Washington Post

At least 23,000 people die as a direct result of antibiotic-resistant infections. This number is expected to rise drastically in the future as antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to evolve. Some experts predict the death rate could rise to 10 million by 2050. Much of the problem comes from the overprescribing of antibiotics. But a CDC study in The Washington Post shows vast geographical differences in prescription rates, meaning certain areas of the country are more at risk for antibiotic-resistant infections in the future.

Ground zero for the risk is the American South. West Virginia has the highest rate of prescribed antibiotics in 2014, with Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama not far behind. But the High Plains region isn’t far behind—especially Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, which fall just behind the South in prescription rates.