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Infectious diseases experts applaud bill against 'bad bugs'
Date:9/28/2007

to pick up on problems early.

Its a different world versus even five years ago, said Neil Fishman, MD, chair of IDSAs Antimicrobial Resistance Work Group. Multi-drug resistant bugs like Klebsiella and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have cropped up and spread practically before anyone has had the chance to examine them under the microscope, much less do anything to stop their spread. The STAAR Act sets up a network to collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on disease surveillance. The network will be CDCs extra eyes and ears looking out for resistant bugs around the nation and finding ways to prevent their spread, Dr. Fishman added.

In a second major activity of the network, researchers also would work with CDC and the National Institutes of Health to find ways to slow the development of resistance. We need to determine the best ways to keep approved antibiotics working longer, said Louis Rice, MD, chair of IDSAs Research on Resistance Work Group. Currently, very little research is focusing on this. The STAAR Act network provides the range of experts we need to study the complex field of drug resistance.

The STAAR Act also creates a board of infectious diseases, public health and veterinary experts to advise the federal government on reducing resistance, and an Office of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate, help plan, and guide the governments response to resistance.

IDSA thanks Reps. Matheson and Ferguson for their leadership in introducing this important patient safety and public health bill, and encourages Congress to pass it quickly.

IDSA has been warning that the bad bugs are getting ahead of us, Dr. Blaser said. We are glad to see Congress is listening. But we need this legislation to pass soon. It takes years to develop, strengthen, and implement new control strategies. These bad bugs are not waiting.


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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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