The BBC is reporting on a study by KPMG and Rand Europe that antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’ will kill more people than cancer by 2050 unless a solution on eradicating them is found.
From the BBC:
In Europe and the United States, antimicrobial resistance causes at least 50,000 deaths each year, they said. And left unchecked, deaths would rise more than 10-fold by 2050.
The increase and spread of superbugs is something that will affect every facet of our lives. Once again people will be dying of infections that until recently could be dealt with by a course of tablets.
Joint replacements will be dangerous as antibiotics are given prophylactically to allay deep infections in bones that cannot otherwise be dealt with. Chemotherapy and transplant patients would be far more likely to die in the early days after diagnosis or surgery than they do now. Even women undergoing emergency cesarian sections would be far more likely to lose their lives to infection than to the surgery itself.
In 2013, Dame Sally Davis, Chief Medical Officer for the UK government said:
In 20 years’ time even minor surgery may lead to death through untreatable infection, she warns: “This is a growing problem, and if we don’t get it right, we will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar from the early 19th century.”
A stark warning, and one that needs to be dealt with urgently if we are not going to be flung back to the medical Dark Ages.