In todays day and age many find themselves running to the doctors office for antibiotics at the first sign of sickness, however, according to experts unless that sickness is actual an infection you are doing far more harm than good.
For years the medical community has been warning the public about the dangers posed by antibiotic overuse, specifically the coming antibiotic apocalypse which will be caused by the continued misuse of these common medications.
Making this threat even more frightening, a new study on the matter paints a grim picture of what will happen if this cycle goes unchanged. According to the study, if the current pattern of antibiotic overuse continues, the annual number of deaths caused antimicrobial resistant infections will bypass cancer related deaths by the year 2050.
According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, deaths caused by drug resistance will rise from 700,000 in 2015 to an estimated 10 million per year in 2050.
The problem: People around the world are taking more antibiotics, rendering them less effective, while global food production uses at least as many, the Guardian reports.
Meanwhile, fewer new antibiotics are being made. In time, the study says, we may no longer be able to treat diseases that are now curable. The problem is straightforward, writes Jim ONeill, who chairs the Review, in the Guardian.
As valuable as scientific breakthroughs may be, it takes a lot of work to turn them into marketable drugs. And … antibiotics generally produce lowand sometimes even negativereturns on investment for the pharmaceutical makers that develop them. So hes calling on philanthropists and governments to create an R&D fund to create new antimicrobial drugs.
The CDC has more:
The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Simply using antibiotics creates resistance. These drugs should only be used to manage infections.
Trends in Drug Resistance
- Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine and can be lifesaving drugs. However, up to 50% of the time antibiotics are not optimally prescribed, often done so when not needed, incorrect dosing or duration.
- The germs that contaminate food can become resistant because of the use of antibiotics in people and in food animals. For some germs, like the bacteria Salmonella and Campylobacter, it is primarily the use of antibiotics in food animals that increases resistance. Because of the link the between antibiotic use in food-producing animals and the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, antibiotics that are medically important to treating infections in humans should be used in food-producing animals only under veterinary oversight and only to manage and treat infectious disease, not to promote growth.
- The other major factor in the growth of antibiotic resistance is spread of the resistant strains of bacteria from person to person, or from the non-human sources in the environment.
Additionally, the CDC notes that you can fight drug resistant infections with the following four actions: