Experts ‘deeply alarmed’ by rise of antibiotic-resistant diseases

SYDNEY-- An Australian expert has warned that common illnesses could become lethal in a post-antibiotic world.

In an editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia, University of Melbourne professor Cheryl Jones said that Australian experts were "deeply alarmed" when a woman died in the United States from an infection that could not be treated by antibiotics.

Jones said that the woman's death in January "may herald a post-antibiotic era in which high-level antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is widespread, meaning that common pathogens will be untreatable."

She said that if it did happen, all areas of healthcare would be affected.

"Simple childhood infections would once again be life-threatening events, major surgery would be associated with high mortality, chemotherapy for cancer and organ transplantation would no longer be possible," Jones wrote on Monday.

Despite the Federal Government introducing means to limit antibiotic use in Australia, Jones said more needed to be done to monitor "superbugs" coming into Australia.

A superbug is an infection which has built up a complete resistance to antibiotics. They are considered among the biggest threats to public health by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Australia is among the countries with the highest rate of antibiotic use in the world.

"A list of tangible actions against each of the drivers of antimicrobial resistance, coordinated across human and animal health and agriculture, must be an urgent priority," Jones said.

The Australian Medical Association has called for the establishment of an Australian National Center for Disease Control that would mimic a similar body in the United States.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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