Apoc­a­lypse by su­per­bug

Ex­perts warn 10MILLION peo­ple a year will be killed by dis­eases that are re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otics

Daily Record - - NEWS - AN­DREW GRE­GORY re­porters@dai­lyrecord.co.uk

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.

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