Antibiotic use threatens healthcare - Macleans.ca

Antibiotic use threatens healthcare

Drug-resistant bacteria kill 25,000 a year in Europe; 19,000 in U.S.

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The “whole span of modern medicine” is under threat from the overuse of antibiotics in Europe, says Dominique Monnet of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) scientific advice unit, who reports that the overuse of antibiotics in Europe is creating resistance, threatening to halt medical treatments like hip replacement, cancer therapies, and intensive care for premature babies. “If this wave of antibiotic resistance gets over us, we will not be able to do organ transplants, hip replacements, cancer chemotherapy, intensive care and neonatal care for premature babies,” he told Reuters. Antibiotics are used in all those treatments to stave off bacterial infection, but drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem, killing about 25,000 people a year in Europe and 19,000 in the U.S. The six most common of them, called superbugs, cause about 400,000 infections in Europe each year, killing about 25,000 people and using 2.5 million hospital days in one year. On Nov. 18, the ECDC will launch an “antibiotics awareness” campaign to stop doctors from over-prescribing antibiotics.

Reuters

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