The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting an alarming rise in the number of cases of superbugs. One Rochester-area woman is speaking out about her battle against the antibiotic resistant infection, in the hopes of helping others.
Robin Rudd of Gates is a survivor of one of the most common forms of antibiotic resistant superbugs known as Clostridium Difficile, or C. Diff.
The CDC released its antibiotic resistance threats in the United States report which includes the latest national death and infections estimates. It underscores the continued threat of antibiotic resistance in the U.S.
"The amount of resistant infections has never been this bad," said Rochester Regional Health Infectious disease expert, Dr. Emil Lesho.
"We’re facing an urgent crisis. The Centers for Disease control, Infectious Disease Society of America, the World Health Organization…all these organizations have listed increasing drug resistant infections as one of the leading and most urgent threats to global public health," said Lesho.
The CDC’s report states that more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. In addition, 223,900 cases of Clostridioides Difficile occurred in 2017 and at least 12,800 people died.
Robin Rudd barely survived. It began for Rudd about three years ago when she was prescribed an antibiotic for STREP throat and an upper respiratory infection. But she became even sicker after two rounds of antibiotics.
"I’m blessed to be alive. I've had C. Diff twice, two microbial transplants, one that failed, five months being unable to digest food after my second transplant. So to be sitting here with you now is a blessing, it’s a miracle," said Rudd.
C. Diff is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from stomach upset to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.
Experts say avoiding it includes not pushing your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic, avoid spreading your germs, wash hands frequently and use products that are antibiotic free.
"If you’re a patient don’t insist that you have an antibiotic if you’re not diagnosed with a bacterial infection," said Rudd.
Rudd was out of work for a year and for the rest of her life she will avoid germs and antibiotics.
"It’s a debilitating, brutal, relentless infection," said Rudd.