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19th May 2016

Antibiotic resistance is due to increase dramatically in the next few years

The scenario is being described as 'apocalyptic'

Ellen Tannam

Urgent action needs to be taken to control antibiotics in order for them to continue to be effective, according to reports.

The Independent report that antibiotic resistance is growing at such an alarming rate that effectiveness could be lost entirely, making certain medical procedures such as chemotherapy and joint replacements too dangerous to perform.

Unless action is taken, antibiotic resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year by 2050, more than are killed by cancer at present.

Infections are becoming more resistant due to the over-use of antibiotic and anti-fungal treatments for minor conditions like the common cold.

With overuse, it leaves people more vulnerable to superbugs like MRSA.

Antibiotics are also being fed to pigs, meaning those who consume pork are also becoming more resistant.

The report commissioned by Lord O’Neill in the UK emphasised the need for quick action:

“My review not only makes it clear how big a threat antimicrobial resistance is to the world, with a potential 10 million people dying each year by 2050, but also now sets out a workable blueprint for bold, global action to tackle this challenge. The actions I’m setting out today are ambitious in their scope- but this is a problem which it is well within our grasp to solve if we take action now… to avoid the terrible human and economic costs of resistance that the world will otherwise face.”