As antibiotic-resistant bacteria continue to sweep the nation, tens of thousands (at least) are expected to suffer from ailments that just can’t be beaten by conventional medicine. In fact, a recent government document states that approximately 80,000 individuals could die if there were a “widespread outbreak” of a blood infection that is resistant to antibiotics.
The National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies says such an outbreak could be expected to hit 200,000 people – and two in five of them “might die.” What’s more, the doc states that “high numbers of deaths could also be expected” from other resistant bacteria, which could compromise the safety of our modern medicine.
The Cabinet Office document says the number of infections “complicated” by antimicrobial resistance is expected to “increase markedly over the next 20 years”.
“Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high-risk procedures, leading to increased duration of illness and ultimately premature mortality.”
The document adds:
“If a widespread outbreak were to occur, we could expect around 200,000 people to be affected by a bacterial blood infection that could not be treated effectively with existing drugs, and around 80,000 of these people might die.”
Meanwhile, hospitals in England are reporting that patients are carrying record numbers of antibiotic-resistant diseases. Laboratory-confirmed cases of a strain of gut bacteria resistant to pharmaceuticals has risen from five cases to more than 600 in just 7 years.
The document came to similar conclusions as numerous other reports analyzing the issue of antibiotic-resistance. There is no question that antibiotics have lent a helping hand in treating various ailments, but now this modern medicine is fueling an issue that was perhaps never considered before. Since their introduction, antibiotics have slowly been fueling the development of superbugs – bacteria that are completely resistant to our conventional treatments. Another report says that superbugs could claim 10 million lives each year as well as $100 trillion by 2050.
Economist and head of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, Jim O’Neill says:
“Drug-resistant infections already kill hundreds of thousands a year globally, and by 2050 that figure could be more than 10 million. The economic cost will also be significant, with the world economy being hit by up to 100 trillion US dollars (£63.6 trillion) by 2050 if we do not take action.
We cannot allow these projections to materialise for any of us, especially our fellow citizens in the Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and Mint (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) world, and our ambition is such that we will search for bold, clear and practical long term solutions.”
It is time we start looking for alternative solutions to this modern medicine before it completely fails us.