On Monday, a new Chief Medical Officer’s report covered in Reuters was released on the second anniversary of Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster from the massive tsunami that killed 19,000 souls. Also, it’s a time that climate anomalies have been ravaging the world on a daily basis, so the dire medical study piles on more bad news for a world rapidly approaching a population of 9 billion people.
In response to the alarming medical report, scientists from the UK and the US, warn that drug resistant bacteria may have devastating ramifications on people’s health.
Remember the final scene in the original movie War of the Worlds? Invading aliens intent on annihilating mankind were killed by simple Earth bacteria that humans had long developed immunity against.
For the past 70 years, antibiotics have been a boon to human health for a myriad of diseases from staph infections to gonorrhea. But officials warn that antimicrobial resistance is being built up to many common infectious diseases.
"Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don't act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can't be treated by antibiotics," said Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England in a statement to the Global Christian Post.
Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has reported the staggering increase of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections in over 200 hospitals and convalescent homes across the nation from East to West.
According to a report in Consumer Health, CRE are in a family of more than 70 bacteria called enterobacteriaceae, including Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli that normally live in the digestive system.
"CRE are nightmare bacteria. Our strongest antibiotics don't work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a news release. "Doctors, hospital leaders and public health workers must come together now to implement the CDC's 'detect and protect' strategy and stop these infections from spreading."
Patient visitors in hospitals with known CRE outbreaks are required to wear gloves, masks and gowns when they are in the hospital or convalescent home affected in an effort to minimize spread of the infections.
How deadly are superbugs?
Remember MRSA and bacterial mutation NDM 1? According to the World Health Organization, MRSA alone kills over 18,000 people every year, which is more deadly than HIV and Aids. And drug-resistant cases of tuberculosis have increased around the world.
Laura Piddock, a professor of microbiology at Birmingham University and director of the campaign group Antibiotic Action had this to say about the Chief Medical Officer’s report:
There are an increasing number of infections for which there are virtually no therapeutic options, and we desperately need new discovery, research and development.
All health officials agree the WHO and the G8 should take the threat, which is anticipated to increase over the next decade as more bacteria become resistant to standard antibiotics, very seriously by encouraging more innovation and investment into the development of new antibiotics.
The onset of climate change—which was recently reported as being on an escalator to hell after scientists discovered that it’s happening at super-accelerated speeds—just might compete with microbial deaths from common diseases for human population control over the next few decades if the world doesn’t get its collective act together.
Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash…your…hands.