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Florida Bill Would Combat Superbug Threat

A bill to track drug-resistant infections has been introduced in Florida, inspired in part by FRONTLINE’s Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, a Republican, requires the state health department to maintain an online record of the type and location of any antibiotic-resistant bacteria outbreaks in Florida, and to take the lead in investigating those reports.

“When I saw the program it really highlighted to me just how important this issue is,” she told FRONTLINE. “Especially with Florida’s high population of elderly [people], I believe we are susceptible to outbreaks, and it’s important for the public to be aware of what’s happening so they can make informed decisions about their health care.”

In Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria, FRONTLINE reported on how little data there is available on antibiotic-resistant outbreaks. There’s no national reporting system. Hospitals and other health-care facilities aren’t required to report outbreaks when they happen — and most don’t, hoping to avoid alarming the public and hurting their bottom line.

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