Antibiotic Resistance is on the Rise

by on August 3, 2012

World Health Organization building from the So...

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently warned that the use of antibiotics is creating drug resistant strains of bacteria which could potentially be very harmful.

The Director General of the WHO Margaret Chan, addressed a meeting of infectious disease experts recently in Copenhagen. She talked of a growing crisis in the use of antibiotics and said that every antibiotic ever developed was at risk of becoming useless.

This is a stark warning which is very worrying in the long term. Although it is good to try and find alternative ways to treat minor infections and keep as healthy as possible, there are times when antibiotics must be used. The thought that a scratch or a cut, or something relatively minor like strep throat could once again threaten lives, particularly of the young and elderly, is very sobering.

Margaret Chan also warned that interventions such as hip replacements, care for premature infants and organ transplants, would become far more difficult and in some cases, too risky to undertake.

She said that measures need to be put in place to try and tackle this crisis. At the top of her list was restricting the use of antibiotics on animals in food production. She said that too many healthy animals are given antibiotics, which is contributing to the problem.

Other measures are to make sure that doctors are prescribing only when needed and that patients follow the course as prescribed.

Since the beginning of the century there has been almost a 10% increase in drug resistant bacteria such as E Coli, so this is a very real danger which needs tackling.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9147414/Resistance-to-antibiotics-could-bring-the-end-of-modern-medicine-as-we-know-it-WHO-claim.html#

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