‘The drugs won’t work much longer’

World Health Organisation issues stark warning over rising danger of drug-resistant bacteria

1 May 2014

FRENCH reliance on medicine to cure all ills may soon have to change, if a worrying prediction from the World Health Organisation becomes reality.

According to the latest available figures, the French people took an average of 48 boxes of drugs in 2012 - more than any other nation in Europe.

But the threat from drug-resistant bacteria is now so serious that common infections and minor injuries could kill, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

In its report on antimicrobial-drug resistance, the WHO said: “The problem is so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine.”

The report said that “a post-antibiotic era - in which common infections and minor injuries can kill - far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century."

The study is the most comprehensive global look at drug resistance to date, and analysed data from 114 countries. It came to the conclusion that the rise of drug-resistant bacteria is a worldwide problem.

It says that the way antibiotics are produced, prescribed and used needs to change. And it said that people should use antibiotics only when prescribed, take them for the entire time they're prescribed (even if you feel better), and never share them or use leftovers.

On a global scale, the WHO said that surveillance of drug-resistant outbreaks "is neither coordinated nor harmonized," and said there was an "urgent need to strengthen collaboration ... across government sectors and society as a whole.”

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