Last year the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of the apocalyptic public health implications of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Now the World Health Organization has issued a statement that it could be worse than the AIDS epidemic, reported via the Telegraph:
A child’s scratched knee from falling off their bike, common bladder infections among the elderly in care homes and routine surgery to replace broken hips could all become fatal as antibiotics are becoming increasingly useless, the World Health Organisation has said.
The crisis is bigger and more urgent than the Aids epidemic of the 1980s, it was warned.
UK experts said the ‘era of safe medicine is coming to an end’ and government funds must be pumped into the production of new drugs.
In the foreword to the report Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security, wrote: “A post-antibiotic era — in which common infections and minor injuries can kill — far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.”
He said: “Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”
He said modern medicine, from the treatment of urinary tract infections and pneumonia in babies to chemotherapy and kidney dialysis are under threat.
“This is not an abstract problem. We have a big problem now and it is going to get bigger.
“What do we do when we have infections we cannot treat or when we lose the ability to protect people when having chemotherapy? I think there are very concrete implications, ” he said.
The report, Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance, focuses on antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as sepsis, diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea…
[continues at the Telegraph]