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The stakes are high when it comes to fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the federal government is launching a new plan to deal with the problem. The Obama administration unveiled Sept. 18 a comprehensive plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which includes the implementation of a national strategy, the establishment of a new interagency taskforce and the launch of a $20 million prize to facilitate the development of a rapid diagnostic test that identifies highly resistant bacterial infections at the point of patient care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic-resistant bacteria annually cause a minimum of 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States.