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Infected scratch 'more deadly than AIDS'

Health & Science

An infected scratch could become an everyday killer as antibiotics become increasingly useless, the world’s top doctors have warned.

The World Health Organisation said superbugs are now more deadly than the 80s Aids epidemic in a major report which declared, “the era of safe medicine is coming to an end”.WHO Europe antimicrobial resistance adviser Dr Lo Fo Wong warned: “Everyone is potentially in danger.”

The WHO warned cash must urgently be pumped into developing new drugs after examining data from 114 countries.The report warned of growing antibiotic resistance in seven bacteria linked to diseases such as sepsis, diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea.

Dr Keiji Fukuda, assistant director general for health security, said: “Without urgent action, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era in which common infections which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.”England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has called for restrictions on prescribing antibiotics for mild infections and incentives for drugs firms to produce new medicines.

She said resistance was being fuelled because drugs were being unnecessarily used for mild infections.Patients can help by only using prescribed antibiotics, making sure they complete the treatment and never sharing left-over prescriptions, the WHO said.

Microbiologist Prof Laura Piddock, of the University of Birmingham, said: “The world needs to respond as it did to the Aids crisis."We need a better understanding of resistance and development of new antibiotics.”


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