Antibiotic resistance, which can lead to minor injuries and common post-operative infections becoming fatal, is no longer a prediction for the future but is happening “right now”, the World Health Organisation has said.
In a stark report, global health officials said that antibiotic resistance, the process whereby bacteria evolve to resist the drugs we use to combat them, “threatens the achievements of modern medicine” and will have “devastating” consequences unless “every country and individual” in the world takes action to prevent its further spread.
The report, the WHO’s first looking at the threat on a global scale, analysed data from 114 countries and found that antibiotic resistance was happening in “every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country”.
Already, resistance to last resort treatments for life-threatening hospital infections caused by the common bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae has spread to all parts of the world, the report said. Resistance to the most widely used drugs for treating urinary tract infections caused by E.coli is also widespread, while last resort drugs to treat gonorrhoea has been confirmed in 10 developed countries, including the UK.
In Europe, 25,000 people a year already die from infections which are resistant to drugs of last resort.
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Re-blogged from www.independent.co.uk