The Uncounted: The Deadly Epidemic America is Ignoring

Fifteen years after the U.S. government declared antibiotic-resistant infections to be a grave threat to public health, a Reuters investigation has found that infection-related deaths are going uncounted, hindering the nation’s ability to fight a scourge that exacts a significant human and financial toll.

Even when recorded, tens of thousands of deaths from drug-resistant infections – as well as many more infections that sicken but don’t kill people – go uncounted because federal and state agencies are doing a poor job of tracking them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the go-to national public health monitor, and state health departments lack the political, legal and financial wherewithal to impose rigorous surveillance.

I’m not an anti-capitalism person by any stretch of the imagination, but my guess is that since there isn’t much money to be made in countering this problem is the reason why it isn’t adequately being addressed.

I don’t know what to make of that statement. It might be true. It might not. There is a good amount of politics involved in how persons death is recorded.

You can read some about that here in this article:


…You might believe that when someone dies, it is pretty clear what they died of. Again, if you think that, please think again, and keep thinking until your brain bursts. You might further believe that that what is written on death certificates is an accurate record of cause of death… Ho ho.

When I started in medicine, if a patient was old, and developed a cough, then died, they would most likely be recorded as dying of chronic bronchitis. Thus it came to be that, chronic bronchitis was one of the most common causes of death. At least in the UK. Then, one fine day, it was decreed that you could not use Chronic bronchitis as a primary cause of death on a death certificate. And lo, no-one died of chronic bronchitis ever again. A fantastic medical achievement in curing the UK of chronic bronchitis?

Change your definitions, and codes, and you can cure the world of a disease – at the stroke of a pen.

Until 1948, not a single person died of Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD), (IHD is what most people would call heart disease), anywhere in the world. Then, suddenly, millions were dying of IHD. IHD is a relatively broad diagnostic code, which incorporates myocardial infarction (MI).

What was the cause of this epidemic? Well, in 1948 the WHO decided that disease diagnoses ought to be standardised around the world, so that researchers would have some idea what they were actually looking at. So they created the International Classification of Disease (ICD). Which included IHD. And lo, an epidemic of IHD swept the world. Not, of course, in France, where they use their own diagnostic system – until 1968. A heart attack (MI) was called Cardiac Insufficience (I believe – I may be wrong on this exact terminology)…

I also suspect this is the way to cover up actual causes death in people that are marked terminally ill when if fact it medical intervention might have or could have helped. Bad record keeping in general is probably the best way to cover up assisted suicide.
This report sheds light on important facets of current medical care.
This on the heels of increased penalties for unauthorized audio and video recordings of medical conversations and procedures.

In the US, litigation is the primary concern. If this information is accurate, the CDC needs to know, survivors need to know. The “we’re having an epidemic and don’t have the money or manpower and/or properly trained personnel” is not a good answer to an “epidemic.”

The title of the article is typically overdramatic. “America” is not ignoring ANYTHING. Those working in health care and those monitoring diseases, like the CDC, had better take action.

And if superbugs are the threat the medical community knows they are, then what? People just start dying? To quote Winston Churchill: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they’ve tried everything else.”

And things are being tried/done:


Now there is anti-bacterial paint… That’s right, paint! They’ve finally solved our antibiotic resistant problems. We’ll just paint over them.:rolleyes:

Nurse: Doctor, the patient in 118 is showing symptoms of MSHRA.

Doctor: Get out the antibiotic paint and a roller. OH, and make sure not to paint over the nostrils.



It’s not as funny as it may sound. Bacteria stick to surfaces. A paint that would repel or kill them is no weirder than the antifouling paints used to keep water critters off boats.

Of course, one cannot paint the human body, so this is not a cure per se.


But “hand washing” was mentioned. They don’t tell nurses and caregivers to wash their hands? That’s ridiculous. Bacteria thrive on surfaces that have not been properly cleaned and are moist. I watched a time-lapse video of bacteria on a surface begin to rapidly die after it was cleaned, and by the time it was dry, they were all dead.

I worked in a hospital. If I had to go into a quarantine room, I had to follow all the steps. I could not just walk in. The outer protective items had to be put into a designated container and I had to wash my hands afterwards. I had to use a thick paper towel impregnated with an antibacterial agent, and soap. It felt like sandpaper.


Years ago on NPR I heard that in 1956 ?] the Surgeon General or whoever ruled that “old age” could no longer be listed as a cause of death. So what do doctors do when a frail but reasonably healthy old person gord to bed and doesn’t get up in the morning? Otoh, what if a patient has survived a heart attack, a stroke and has diabetes & COPD? What goes on the death certificate?

Supposedly we’ll be delivered into a golden age of rational decision making based on data collection but GIGO.

I had a friend who worked in a coroner’s office in the 90’s. If there wasn’t.a clear cause of death, or old age was the obvious cause, they would put either smoking.or second hand smoke as the cause, as everyone has been exposed to smoke at some point in their life (smokers, fires, bbq’s, car exhaust, etc). Makes you wonder about the stats.

Much like the old post mortem:

"**Primary cause of death: ** blow to head with ax;

**Contributory cause of death: **another man’s wife."


Interesting. That is what happened to a grandfather of mine. He was going through bladder cancer treatment. A few months into treatment granddad became very sick to his stomach. He was not able to eat. It was determined that he had an intestinal blockage that couldn’t be fixed. Granddad starved to death.

So there were several options to place onto the death certificate. He could have died from complications to the cancer treatment. It could have been written that he starved to death.

What was written down as the cause of granddads death was lung cancer. Unbelievable. Now I know partially why that happened. It does make me wonder about smoking stats.

How about heart failure?
In one of Heinlein’s juveniles the young hero is informed his uncle had died of heart failure. He accepts this until he realizes that ultimately all deaths are the result of heart failure and it turns out his uncle might have been undergoing tort – enhanced interrogation.

It’s not even a modern thing. A French doctor, POW in the 1812 Russian war, wrote that a certain Russian noble would say at times that one of the serfs had died of apoplexy. Everybody knew, he wrote, that this nobleman had named his favorite whip, “Apoplexy.”


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