[Nothing new here – unless governments act]
Deaths from cuts and grazes, diarrhoea and flu will soon be common as antibiotics lose their power to fight minor infections, experts have warned.
The World Health Organisation says the problem has been caused by antibiotics being so widely prescribed that bacteria have begun to evolve and develop resistance.
It claims the crisis is worse than the Aids epidemic – which has caused 25 million deaths worldwide – and threatens to turn the clock back on modern medicine.
The WHO warns that the public should ‘anticipate many more deaths’ as it may become routine for children to develop lethal infections from minor grazes, while hospital operations become deadly as patients are at risk of developing infections that were previously treatable.
Doctors are increasingly finding that antibiotics no longer work against urinary and skin infections, tuberculosis and gonorrhoea.
Dr Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director for health security, said: ‘Without urgent, co-ordinated action, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.
In the largest study of its kind, the WHO looked at data from 114 countries on seven major types of bacteria. Experts are particularly concerned about bacteria responsible for pneumonia, urinary tract infections, skin infections, diarrhoea and gonorrhoea