The phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance is an interest of the health authorities. According to the OECD, 2.4 billion people could be killed by 2050. However, simple measures can be put in place to combat this disaster.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warns against excessive consumption of antibiotics in a report released on Wednesday (November 7th).
Ultimately, antibiotic-resistant bacteria could kill 2.4 million people in Europe, North America, and Australia by 2050. For this reason, there is an urgent need to reduce the consumption of antibiotics. Here are 4 questions to learn more about antimicrobial resistance.
What is antimicrobial resistance?
"Antimicrobial resistance is a bacterial phenomenon that becomes resistant to antibiotics", defines the website of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health. Bacteria that get used to this type of drug are transforming and developing defensive mechanisms. Result? Antibiotics become ineffective in the treatment of these infections.
What are the causes of antimicrobial resistance?
Antibiotic resistance is caused by excessive and repeated use of antibiotics. But antibiotics act both on the bacteria of the infection to be treated, and on those that are important to the body. Therefore, all bacteria are likely to develop antibiotic resistance mechanisms.
What are the consequences of antimicrobial resistance?
"Antibiotic resistance is threatening our current lifestyle and jeopardizing all the advances made by the drug for more than 70 years", reports on the Health Ministry's website. "If excessive use of antibiotics does not stop, antimicrobial resistance may become one of the leading causes of death in the world",
Without effective antibiotics, the risk of medical interventions such as surgery or chemotherapy would be too high and therefore impossible. Diseases will last longer and may be a source of serious complications.
Which category of population is the most affected by this disaster?
"The likelihood of resistance is significantly higher in children in their first year and in adults of 70 years and older", informs the OECD press release. On the other hand, men are more likely than women to develop a resistant infection.
How to prevent antimicrobial resistance?
The OECD report shows that three out of four deaths for these infections can be prevented by simple measures: promoting better hygiene (hands washing), more justified use of antibiotics, testing patients for rapid diagnosis to determine whether they have viral or bacterial infections, delaying prescribing of antibiotics, or organizing awareness campaigns in the media.
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