Apocalyptic advice must be heeded
The dire warning from health authorities about antimicrobial resistance may sound like the plot of a Michael Crichton thriller, or a Stephen King horror story, but it is all too real.
World health leaders have come together to reinforce warnings about the over-use of antibiotics.
Drug-resistant infections such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are already claiming a deadly toll of hundreds of thousands of lives per year.
Unchecked, as many as 10 million a year could be killed by 2050.
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has called it, suitably, a looming “post-antibiotic apocalypse”.
Since Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin the use of anti-microbial drugs has revolutionised modern medicine but the illnesses they treat are managing to keep pace in their evolution.
It seems the UK has woken up to the fact it has become too easy to prescribe courses of antibiotics for ills which may not need them and medics have curbed their use.
Like so many other issues in the global village, it is a pointless exercise unless others follow suit.
Moves to reinvigorate the efficacy of new medicines are being made in tandem with an awareness campaign around antimicrobial resistance.
Heeding the advice could save many lives.