A study by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates that around 33,000 people in the EU die each year after becoming infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The analysis, published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, warned that the burden of these pathogens is similar to HIV, flu and tuberculosis combined.
“Infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria are threatening modern healthcare,” the researchers wrote. They tracked a significant increase in the toll from 2007, when there were around 25,000 deaths.
Infants and the elderly were most at risk, with three quarters of infections contracted in hospitals and health clinics. The researchers also recorded vast differences between European countries.