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Forget climate change – the antibiotics crisis will kill us all first, says NHS chief

Forget climate change – the antibiotics crisis will kill us all first, says NHS chief as he warns that bugs could wipe out humanity

  • NHS chief says that superbugs could kill us before climate change does
  • Dame Sally Davies warns 10million people could die every year from superbugs
  • England’s chief medical officer says we are ‘underinvesting in sorting it out’

Bugs that cannot be killed by anti-biotics could wipe out humanity ‘before climate change does’, England’s chief medical officer warned yesterday.

Professor Dame Sally Davies said: ‘Antibiotics underpin modern medicine – you can’t have gut surgery, replacement hips, all sorts of surgery without risking infection.

‘At least 10 million could die every year if we don’t get on top of this.’

Bugs that cannot be killed by anti-biotics could wipe out humanity ‘before climate change does’, England’s chief medical officer warned yesterday. Some strains of bugs including tuberculosis, MRSA and Clostridium difficile no longer respond to antibiotics that used to be effective against them

Dame Sally, who leaves her post next month after nine years, also warned against importing meat or fish from countries that ‘misuse’ antibiotics in farming after Brexit. 

Some strains of bugs including tuberculosis, MRSA and Clostridium difficile no longer respond to antibiotics that used to be effective against them.

Overusing the drugs – be it for medicine or agriculture – means illnesses can adapt so they stop responding to antibiotics made to cure them. This means a minor infection such as a skin wound can prove fatal. 

Dame Sally told Sky News: ‘We humans are doing it to ourselves, but it could kill us before climate change does. It is a very important area and we are under-investing in sorting it out.’

Official data shows that since 2014 the UK has cut the amount of antibiotics it uses by more than 7 per cent. However, the number of drug-resistant bloodstream infections increased by 35 per cent between 2013 and 2017. 

Asked about post-Brexit trade deals, Dame Sally said ‘there’s always a balance in a trade relationship between economics and standards’.

She warned that the UK ‘should not be importing beef or other animals where antibiotics have been misused… because it leads to problems across the world’.

Overusing the drugs – be it for medicine or agriculture – means illnesses can adapt so they stop responding to antibiotics made to cure them. This means a minor infection such as a skin wound can prove fatal [File photo]

Overusing the drugs – be it for medicine or agriculture – means illnesses can adapt so they stop responding to antibiotics made to cure them. This means a minor infection such as a skin wound can prove fatal [File photo]

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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