FRONTLINE: Hunting The Nightmare Bacteria
Airs Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Monday, May 5, 2014
“Nightmare bacteria.” That’s how the CDC describes a frightening new threat spreading quickly in hospitals, communities and across the globe. In "Hunting The Nightmare Bacteria," FRONTLINE reporter David Hoffman investigates the alarming rise of untreatable infections: from a young girl thrust onto life support in an Arizona hospital, to a young American infected in India who comes home to Seattle, and an uncontrollable outbreak at the nation’s most prestigious hospital, where 18 patients were mysteriously infected and six died, despite frantic efforts to contain the killer bacteria.
Meet the “Nightmare Bacteria” by Sarah Childress and Alexander Hyacinthe
Eight Ways to Protect Yourself from Superbugs by Sarah Childress
A Superbug Outbreak at NIH by Bill Rockwood and Sarah Childress
On John Quinn by Emma Schwartz and Rick Young
Who’s Tracking the “Nightmare Bacteria”? by Emma Schwartz
Who’s Trying to Fix the Pipeline Problem? by Emma Schwartz
Fueled by decades of antibiotic overuse, the crisis has deepened as major drug companies, squeezed by Wall Street expectations, have abandoned the development of new antibiotics. Without swift action, the miracle age of antibiotics could be coming to an end.
“The world is entering a post-antibiotic era. Doctors tell me there are patients for whom we have no therapy. The bacteria are growing stronger, and the drug pipeline is drying up,” says award-winning journalist David E. Hoffman, who investigates the crisis for FRONTLINE.
“The rise of antimicrobial resistance is a threat to us all. Prominent public health officials are using words like ‘nightmare’ and ‘catastrophic,’” Hoffman says. “But even though we’ve known about this problem for decades, the alarms have not been met with similar levels of urgency in the public or the government.”