Superbugs are a Dire Threat: English CMO

The Chief Medical Officer of England is concerned about the rise of “superbugs”, and is calling for urgent action. Unfortunately this is about a decade too late – the damage is done.

If tough measures are not taken to restrict the use of antibiotics and no new ones are discovered, said Dame Sally Davies, “we will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar to the early 19th century at some point”.

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat,” said Davies. “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. And routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection.

Suggested strategies include:

  • Incentives for drug companies to find new antibiotics
  • Taxing or otherwise limiting antibiotic usage
  • Encouraging reduced use in other countries, especially those where over-the-counter purchases occur

Full story at The Guardian.