Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Anti-biotic Resistance Threat

The blog has posted on a looming health crisis several times in the past. According to experts, the problem has arrived.

On average, someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds and every 15 minutes someone dies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Wednesday that found antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi cause more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths annually in the United States. When Clostridioides difficile, a bacterium which is not typically resistant but can cause deadly diarrhea and is associated with antibiotic use, is added to these the U.S. toll of all the threats in the report exceeds three million infections and 48,000 deaths.

"This is a problem that ultimately affects all of us," Michael Craig, a CDC senior adviser on antibiotic resistance, explained, "It literally has the potential to affect every person on the planet."

The report's foreward, outlined four actions the United States "must" take to address antibiotic resistance:

  • Stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era—it's already here. You and I are living in a time when some miracle drugs no longer perform miracles and families are being ripped apart by a microscopic enemy. The time for action is now and we can be part of the solution.
  • Stop playing the blame game. Each person, industry, and country can affect the development of antibiotic resistance. We each have a role to play and should be held accountable to make meaningful progress against this threat.
  • Stop relying only on new antibiotics that are slow getting to market and that, sadly, these germs will one day render ineffective. We need to adopt aggressive strategies that keep the germs away and infections from occurring in the first place.
  • Stop believing that antibiotic resistance is a problem "over there" in someone else's hospital, state, or country—and not in our own backyard. Antibiotic resistance has been found in every U.S. state and in every country across the globe. There is no safe place from antibiotic resistance, but everyone can take action against it. Take action where you can, from handwashing to improving antibiotic use.
(SOYMB finds it interesting is the omission of one of the major contributors to the anti-biotic resistance is what in the USA and other countries the routine administration of anti-biotics to the industrialised livestock industry.)

The U.N. Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance warned that globally, superbugs could kill 10 million people per year by 2050 without urgent action. Already, according to that report, 700,000 people around the world die annually from drug-resistant infections.

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