Coronavirus doctors’ overuse of antibiotics could spur resistance and raise death toll

Doctors knew antibiotics weren’t effective against the coronavirus, but they feared patients could develop life-threatening bacterial co-infections and used them anyway, raising concerns about antibiotic resistance. Dr. Jeffrey Strich, a researcher and physician at The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center sits down with Fox News Digital to explain how the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the mounting resistance to antibiotics and how this plight will raise the death toll in the United States.

Physicians are correct to worry about bacterial co-infections. A recent study in the Lancet found 50 percent of patients with COVID-19 who have died had secondary bacterial infections. The same study also reported that nearly 75 percent of COVID-19 patients who are admitted to intensive care units received antimicrobial medicine.

The problem is that antibiotics used to prevent infections – where there isn’t an infection – contribute to the problem of overuse of antibiotics that creates bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.