The antibiotics that are fed to the animals lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the animal. These bacteria can then be spread to other animals, the environment and to humans. More than 2 million Americans become ill with antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and 23,000 die as a result. It is estimated that national costs to the U.S. healthcare system attributable to antibiotic resistant infections run from $21 billion to $34 billion annually. Infants and children are affected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the food supply, direct contact with animals and exposure in the environment, the researchers report.
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