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WHO warns of global antibiotics emergency as patients develop growing resistance to drugs

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If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, then key medical procedures – including gut surgery, caesarean sections, joint replacements and chemotherapy – could become too dangerous to perform. PHOTO CREDIT: google.com/search

The world is running out of antibiotics, global health leaders have warned. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that ‘antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency’.

Growing resistance to drugs that fight infections could ‘seriously jeopardise’ progress made in modern medicine, the head of WHO said. The remarks come after a new WHO report found a serious lack of new drugs in development to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Health experts have previously warned that resistance to antimicrobial drugs could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer. In recent years, there has been a United Kingdom (UK) drive to raise global awareness of the threat posed to modern medicine by antimicrobial resistance.

If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, then key medical procedures – including gut surgery, caesarean sections, joint replacements and chemotherapy – could become too dangerous to perform.

Around 700,000 people around the world die annually due to drug-resistant infections including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and malaria.

If no action is taken, it has been estimated that drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year by 2050. The WHO previously drew up a list of antibiotic-resistant infections posing the greatest threat to health. It has now examined new drugs in the development pipeline.

The new WHO report found few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections – including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) which kills around 250,000 people each year.

There is also a lack of treatment options for gram-negative pathogens, including Acinetobacter and Enterobacteriaceae, such as Klebsiella and E.coli – which can cause deadly infections and pose a particular threat in hospitals and nursing homes, WHO said.


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