Global action is needed to fight antibiotic resistance and a “drug discovery void” by researching and developing new medicines to treat emerging mutating infections. Antibiotic resistance is on the edge of causing a “threat to medicine” putting patients having minor surgeries at risk of dying from infections because they cannot be treated with current antibiotics available, Reuters reported on Monday, March 11.
Only a few new antibiotics have been developed in the past few decades to treat “superbugs,” causing antimicrobial resistance, or antibiotic resistance, to pose a catastrophic threat worldwide. Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England who has published a report on infectious disease, says the time to act is now.
“Anyone of us could go into a hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics.”
It is estimated that MRSA, one of the best known of these “superbugs,” alone has killed 19,000 Americans every year, and a similar number in Europe, higher than the yearly rate of deaths from HIV and AIDS.
In 2012 The World Health Organization identified completely untreatable strains of gonorrhea and tuberculosis, as well as a new wave of “super superbugs” with the mutation known as NDM1. In recent years these “super superbugs” were first seen in India and they have now spread all over the world.
The issue of antimicrobial resistance demands not only developing new antibiotics, prescribing fewer antibiotics and understanding infectious diseases, but worldwide education of the necessity of hygiene practices to ensure patient safety such as hand washing not only doctors’ offices, outpatient ambulatory centers and hospitals.
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