ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State health officials have established a task force to examine drug-resistant bacteria and efforts to protect New Yorkers.

A novel drug-resistant gene was recently found in two cases of bacterial infection, including one in New York.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says that doesn't constitute an immediate public health threat but it's imperative to prevent it from becoming an emergency.

He says this strategy has been adopted in successfully controlling the Ebola virus, Legionella bacteria and the Zika virus.

The task force includes state, federal and local agencies and will involve provider associations and report recommendations by Dec. 31.

Federal authorities say at least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics each year, and at least 23,000 people die as a result.



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