spur resistance to the lifesaving drugs as bacteria mutate and outsmart the drugs.
Many critically ill patients on ventilators have developed serious secondary infections. But widespread fears that coronavirus patients were especially susceptible to drug-resistant infections — a concern first described in studies from China — appear to have been misguided, according to interviews with researchers and more than a dozen doctors who have been treating patients with Covid-19.
“The fears turned out to be overblown,” said Dr. Bruce Farber, the chief of infectious diseases at Northwell Health, which has cared for thousands of coronavirus patients at its 23 hospitals in New York.
For many doctors, the pandemic not only provides lessons about the judicious use of antibiotics, but it also highlights another global health threat that has been playing out in slow motion: the mounting threat of antimicrobial resistance that annually claims 700,000 lives as the world’s arsenal of antibiotics and antifungal medication lose their ability to vanquish dangerous pathogens.