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Superbugs could trigger health crises worse than Covid, experts warn

SUPERBUGS could trigger a health crisis worse than Covid, experts warn.

Drug-evading bacteria already infect 50,000 to 70,000 Britons a year and cause a million deaths worldwide.

Superbugs could trigger a health crisis worse than Covid, experts warn

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Superbugs could trigger a health crisis worse than Covid, experts warnPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Efforts to slow the problem have stalled as ministers and scientists have shifted their focus to Covid.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, of the University of Edinburgh, told MPs: “I think we are at a fairly advanced stage of a global public health emergency.

“The problem is that unlike Covid-19, this emergency is a perennial. It’s one that accumulates over decades.”

Common infections develop antimicrobial resistance, known as AMR, because of exposure to so many antibiotics.

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Widespread drug use among livestock and healthcare patients allows the beetles to adapt and survive.

This means first-line antibiotics may stop working and doctors have fewer options.

Lord Jim O’Neill, author of a government report, added: “The health and economic damage from AMR could be far worse than Covid if we do not treat it more seriously.

“As far as I can see, despite endless discussions, attention has stalled enormously in most parts of the world.”

Diseases that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat include E.coli, MRSA, C.diff – and STI gonorrhea.

Around 2,500 people die each year in the UK from untreatable infections.

Medical professionals fear the toll will rise and the risk will make surgeries and cancer treatments too risky for people with weakened immune systems.

Professor Alison Holmes, from Imperial College London, told the Commons’ Science and Technology Committee: “The impact on what we can do in terms of healthcare is a major challenge.

“Whether it’s about being able to carry out a safe operation or a suitable immunosuppressive therapy.

“Even simple, regular, clinical interventions would be completely jeopardized and undermined.”

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5620368/superbugs-trigger-next-health-crisis/ Superbugs could trigger health crises worse than Covid, experts warn

Sarah Y. Kim

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