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Thu Nov 14, 2019, 09:35 PM

The Post- Antibiotic Era Is Here [View all]

Source: Vox

Every 15 minutes, one person in the US dies because of an infection that antibiotics can no longer treat effectively. That's 35,000 deaths a year. This striking estimate comes from a major new report, released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on the urgent problem of antibiotic resistance.

Although the report focuses on the US, this is a global crisis: 700,000 people around the world die of drug-resistant diseases each year. And if we don't make a radical change now, that could rise to 10 million by 2050.

Drug resistance is what happens when we overuse antibiotics in the treatment of humans, animals, and crops. When a new antibiotic is introduced, it can have great, even life-saving results -- for a while. But then the bacteria adapt. Gradually, the antibiotic becomes less effective and we're left with a disease that we don't know how to treat.

And it's not just diseases like tuberculosis. Common problems like STDs and urinary tract infections are also becoming more resistant to treatment. Routine hospital procedures like C-sections and joint replacements could become more dangerous, too, as the risk associated with infection increases. Two of the most urgent current threats are C. difficile (an infection sometimes brought on by antibiotic use) and drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae (sometimes dubbed 'super gonorrhea')...


Read more: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/11/14/20963824/drug-resistance-antibiotics-cdc-report



Too many antibiotics are dispensed, driving resistance. Doctors prescribe antibiotics for conditions that don't require them and don't even benefit from them, like colds and flus. Animal farmers also use antibiotics widely on livestock and poultry, sometimes to compensate for poor industrial farming conditions.

However there's encouraging news esp. concerning staph infections. But even if deaths are down, this is still very much an emergency. "Stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era -- it's already here," the CDC report says. "You and I are living in a time when some miracle drugs no longer perform miracles and families are being ripped apart by a microscopic enemy."

- Superbugs Infect Millions And Kill Tens Of Thousands Each Year, CDC Chief Warns Of Post- Antibiotic Era Already Here
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/14/superbugs-infect-millions-and-kill-tens-thousands-each-year-cdc-chief-warns-post

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