Apocalypse by superbug
Experts warn 10MILLION people a year will be killed by diseases that are resistant to antibiotics
SUPERBUGS will kill 10million people a year unless urgent action is taken to combat them, experts are warning.
Global health chiefs will meet in Berlin today to agree a strategy on how to tackle drug-resistant infections.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said: “We really are facing, if we don’t take action now, a dreadful post-antibiotic apocalypse.”
She said if antibiotics lose their effectiveness, it will spell “the end of modern medicine”.
Dame Sally warned common procedures such as Caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements would become incredibly “risky”, while life-saving transplants could become too dangerous to perform.
She added: “I don’t want to say to my children that I didn’t do my best to protect them and their children.”
International development minister Alistair Burt agreed global efforts are needed to combat superbugs and educate GPs and patients over the misuse of antibiotics.
At the meeting in Berlin, the UK Government will announce a joint project with the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Oxford and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to map the spread of death caused by drug-resistant superbugs.
Burt said: “The UK is not content to sit back and let this turn into a catastrophe.
“Part of the problem has been a lack of co-ordination of global efforts and an understanding of where we need to target our efforts. This partnership will help us to pinpoint problem areas.”
About 700,000 people worldwide die annually due to drug-resistant infections.
If no action is taken, it’s estimated that number will rise to 10million by 2050.
Last month, the World Health Organisation warned antibiotics are “running out” as a report found a “serious lack” of new drugs in the development pipeline.