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Women's Health

The growing problem of drug-resistant UTIs

February 01, 2020

Urinary tract infections can be dangerous. Here's how to recognize, treat, and prevent them.

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More than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections now occur in the United States each year, according to a CDC report published in November 2019. Among them are a growing number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) that can no longer be treated with the most common antibiotics.

"Antimicrobial-resistant UTIs are on the rise and have been since the early 2000s," says Dr. Lisa Bebell, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and an infectious diseases specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. This trend is especially concerning for women because UTIs are so common: one of every two women will have a UTI in her lifetime.

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