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UK health experts warn of 'post-antibiotic apocalypse'

Monday, October 16, 2017 - 01:30

Some of Britain's leading medical experts have warned of an impending ''post-antibiotic apocalypse'' at a conference in Berlin. Jim Drury reports.

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The world faces an antibiotic apocalypse. That's the message from this Berlin conference of global scientists. They say by 2050, 10 million people a year could die from previously treatable conditions. SOUNDBITE (English) PROFESSOR DAME SALLY DAVIES, ENGLAND'S CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, SAYING: "Not only do we need antibiotics in daily life for bacterial infections...but actually a lot of people are prone to infections through their treatments, their cancer treatments, their transplantation. There are patients with diabetes who are more prone to infections. So we would lose the effectiveness of protecting those patients." Common operations like caesarians or hip replacements could become high risk if antibiotics stop working. Over-prescription of the drugs by doctors is blamed, as well as their use in the livestock industry. Experts say international governments aren't acting fast enough. SOUNDBITE (English) ED WHITING, DIRECTOR OF POLICY AT WELLCOME TRUST, SAYING: "We need to see tangible work to make sure that we're only using antibiotics when we really need them...and we need to think about the science of resistance as well and understanding how resistance can spread so that we can get on top of it with the right scientific answers too." Around 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections such as tuberculosis and malaria. Without tough action, scientists say we're heading for a post-antibiotic age that will spell the end of modern medicine.

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UK health experts warn of 'post-antibiotic apocalypse'

Monday, October 16, 2017 - 01:30