Friday, August 30, 2019

Requiem for the Planet? (2)

England's chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has warned antimicrobial resistance could soon kill at least 10 million people per year and wipe out humanity "before climate change does." 

She also cautioned the post-Brexit UK against importing meat or fish from countries that "misuse" antibiotics while rearing livestock, countries such as the United States who have more relaxed regulations. She added: "Fish farming is quite horrible in many places - just tipping antibiotics into the feed."

Antibiotics overuse in medicine and agriculture leads to bugs no longer responding to the drugs made to kill them. If these antibiotics stop working, a minor infection such as a skin wound could prove fatal. Some strains of bugs including tuberculosis, MRSA and Clostridium difficile no longer respond to antibiotics that used to be effective against them. There has also been a rise in so-called superbugs, which are resistant to not just one antibiotic but several or all of them.

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