ATLANTA - For the first time, the government is estimating how many people die each year from drug-resistant bacteria.
Officials say more than 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses stem from germs that are hard to treat because they've become resistant to drugs.
Antibiotics became widely available in the 1940s, and today dozens are used to kill or suppress the bacteria behind everything form strep throat to the plague. But as decades passed, some antibiotics stopped working. Experts say their overuse and misuse have helped make them less effective.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the figures Monday.