Ex­pert in dire warn­ing of ‘post-an­tibi­otic apoc­a­lypse’

Med­i­cal: Re­sis­tance to in­fec­tions drugs will ‘spell end of mod­ern medicine’

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY ELLA PICKOVER

Eng­land’s chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer has warned of a “postan­tibi­otic apoc­a­lypse” as she is­sued a call to ac­tion urg­ing global lead­ers to ad­dress the grow­ing threat of an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance.

Pro­fes­sor Dame Sally Davies said that if an­tibi­otics lose their ef­fec­tive­ness it will spell “the end of mod­ern medicine”.

With­out the drugs used to fight in­fec­tions, com­mon med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions such as cae­sarean sec­tions, cancer treat­ments and hip re­place­ments would be­come in­cred­i­bly “risky”, she said.

And trans­plant medicine would be a “thing of the past”, she added.

“We re­ally are fac­ing, if we don’t take ac­tion now, a dread­ful post-an­tibi­otic apoc­a­lypse,” she told the Press As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I don’t want to say to my chil­dren that I didn’t do my best to pro­tect them and their chil­dren.”

Health ex­perts have pre­vi­ously warned that re­sis­tance to an­timi­cro­bial drugs could cause a big­ger threat to mankind than cancer.

In re­cent years, the UK has led a drive to raise global aware­ness of the threat posed to mod­ern medicine by an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance (AMR).

Around 700,000 peo­ple around the world die an­nu­ally due to drug-re­sis­tant in­fec­tions in­clud­ing tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB), HIV and malaria.

If no ac­tion is taken, it has been es­ti­mated that drug-re­sis­tant in­fec­tions will kill 10million peo­ple a year by 2050.

Dame Sally said that be­cause AMR is “hid­den”, peo­ple “just let it pass”.

The com­ments come as the UK Govern­ment and the Well­come Trust, along with oth­ers, have or­gan­ised a “call to ac­tion” meet­ing for health of­fi­cials from around the globe.

At the meet­ing in Ber­lin, the Govern­ment will also an­nounce a new project which will map the spread of death and dis­ease caused by drug-re­sis­tant “su­per­bugs”.

Dame Sally told the PA: “This AMR is with us now, killing peo­ple. This is a se­ri­ous is­sue that is with us now, caus­ing deaths.

“If it was any­thing else peo­ple would be up in arms about it. But be­cause it is hid­den they just let it pass.

“It will only get worse un­less we take strong ac­tion ev­ery­where across the globe.”

Prof Dame Sally Davies

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