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Diseases

Antibiotic resistance means that an antibiotic is no longer effective against the bacteria it is intended to treat. There are numerous reasons why bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. However, this phenomenon is largely due to widespread overuse and incorrect prescribing practices. In fact, up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed are either not needed – for example, antibiotics prescribed to treat a viral infection – or are not effective as prescribed.

The number of adults in the U.S. who have ever been diagnosed with cancer totals 18.6 million, or 8.2 percent. Diagnostic tests are widely used to screen for various types of cancer, such as Pap smears for cervical cancer. Increasingly, advanced diagnostic tests are being used to determine the most appropriate treatments for a specific patient.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV. Diagnostic tests have various uses and benefits for patients with HIV or AIDS, including determining the presence of the disease and measuring the effectiveness of treatments. 

Diagnostic tests play a valuable role in the detection and prevention of infectious diseases. Microbiological tests are used to detect disease-causing agents to determine whether a patient has ailments ranging from strep throat to the West Nile virus. 

Some 1.7 million patients acquire healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in U.S. hospitals each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths and $20 billion to $45 billion in additional health care costs.

Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus, which primarily spreads to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be spread from mother to child, though sexual contact, or through blood transfusions. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika outbreak in South America a public health emergency.

More than 20 million Americans suffer from diabetes, and $132 billion is spent annually on the condition in the United States. Diagnostic tests used to screen for, treat and monitor the disease help reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Some tests, such as a blood glucose test, can be employed for more than one use.