Landmark report on drug-resistant infections in the US

The CDC just released a report, Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013, that “gives a first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs having the most impact on human health.”

The press release links to the nice infographics included in the report of national summary data. There’s also a video briefing by Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, and a digital press kit where you can download individual infographics.

img43Here are some simple infographics about three bacteria the CDC describes as “Threat-level Urgent”:

C. diff InfographicCRE InfographicDRNG Infographic

There’s also a couple of infographics explaining how antibiotic resistance develops and how it spreads.


I like this one because it is so simple while clearly illustrating 3 important principles:

  1. Antibiotics generally don’t cause resistance per se; rather, they select for organisms that already have resistance.
  2. Killing the “good bacteria” in our bodies allows resistant pathogenic ones to take over.
  3. Bacteria can transfer their resistance to other bacteria.

National Summary Data, Antibiotic Resistance

I like that this one illustrates the role of livestock in the development of resistance. I wish they’d made this one gender-neutral, but at least they have a mixture of men and women and of different race/ethnicities.



Finally! An Accurate 3D Pie Chart

Pie Charts

Pie charts are generally a terrible way of presenting information. When they are 3D, it only gets worse. But there are some things that 3D Pie Charts are good for. Thanks to Nathan Yau over at FlowingData.

Edward Tufte, btw, is a statistician at Yale who studies data visualization and is a leading critic of PowerPoint.