January 24, 2013

Top British medical adviser warns of antibiotic crisis

Guardian, UK - Britain's most senior medical adviser has warned MPs that the rise in drug-resistant diseases could trigger a national emergency comparable to a catastrophic terrorist attack, pandemic flu or major coastal flooding.

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, said the threat from infections that are resistant to frontline antibiotics was so serious that the issue should be added to the government's national risk register of civil emergencies.

She described what she called an "apocalyptic scenario" where people going for simple operations in 20 years' time die of routine infections "because we have run out of antibiotics".

She told the Guardian: ""There are few public health issues of potentially greater importance for society than antibiotic resistance. It means we are at increasing risk of developing infections that cannot be treated – but resistance can be managed."

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