Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has said that even routine operations such as hip surgery could become deadly due to growing antibiotic resistance. Photo: Daily Mail

By Ella Pickover
12 October 2017
    
(The Independent) – England’s chief medical officer has warned of a “post-antibiotic 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 10 million people a year by 2050. […]

Dame Sally told the Press Association: “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 does not really have a ‘face’ because most people who die of drug resistant infections, their families just think they died of an uncontrolled infection. It will only get worse unless we take strong action everywhere across the globe.

“We need some real work on the ground to make a difference or we risk the end of modern medicine.”

She added: “Not to be able to effectively treat infections means that caesarean sections, hip replacements, modern surgery, is risky.

“Modern cancer treatment is risky and transplant medicine becomes a thing of the past.” [more]

World leaders urged to act on “post-antibiotic apocalypse” by chief medical officer

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