Expert in dire warning of ‘post-antibiotic apocalypse’
Medical: Resistance to infections drugs will ‘spell end of modern medicine’
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