CDC officials reported Monday that more than 2 million U.S. patients develop infections associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria annually, resulting in at least 23,000 deaths. "Patients need to understand that antibiotics are not the solution for every illness. It's important that people not take antibiotics when they aren't necessary. It contributes to resistance, and it also has consequences to the patient in the form of side effects," said Dr. Steve Solomon of the CDC. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, warned of the long-term public health threat if antibiotic use does not become more prudent: "The medicine chest will be empty."