The task force, which will include representatives from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture, is part of Obama's five-year plan to prevent and contain outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as well as create the next generation of tests, antibiotics and vaccines.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are germs that do not respond to the drugs designed to kill them. They cause approximately 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the United States.
The CDC is addressing the threat in four areas: slowing the development of resistant bacteria and preventing the spread of the resistant infections, strengthening the national one-health surveillance efforts to combat resistance, advancing development and use of rapid diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria and improving international collaboration and capacities for antibiotic-resistance prevention, surveillance, control and research and development.
To support these plans, the CDC has requested $44 million from the federal government.