Disturbing New Statistics

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) in England has provided the Independent with the following information:

Until 2008, there were fewer than five cases a year in the UK of bugs resistant to carbapenem, our most effective intravenous (IV) antibiotic. New statistics reveal how there have been 386 cases already this year, in what the HPA has called a “global public health concern”. Doctors are particularly concerned because carbapenems are often the last hope for hospital patients suffering from pneumonia and blood infections that other antibiotics have failed to treat. Such cases were unknown in the UK before 2003.

Within the EU, more than 25,000 people are dying each year from antibiotic-resistant infections, and the numbers are sure to keep rising. A WHO conference held in Baku, Azerbaijan last week unveiled an action plan that has been agreed to by 50 countries.