Antibiotic Resistance Poses ‘Global Threat’ To Public Health, WHO Report Warns

Media outlets highlight the WHO’s first-ever global report on the serious public health threats posed by antibiotic resistance.

Associated Press: Drug resistance found worldwide, new drugs needed
“Bacteria resistant to antibiotics have now spread to every part of the world and might lead to a future where minor infections could kill, according to a report published Wednesday by the World Health Organization…” (Cheng, 4/30).

The Atlantic: World Health Organization: No, Seriously, Stop Abusing Antibiotics
“…The analysis of 114 countries is the most comprehensive global look at antimicrobial-drug resistance to date, and it found ‘very high’ rates of resistant infections across all regions, including ‘alarming’ rates in many parts of the world…” (Hamblin, 4/30).

BBC News: Antibiotic resistance now ‘global threat,’ WHO warns
“…The report focused on seven different bacteria responsible for common serious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and blood infections…” (Stephens, 4/30).

Bloomberg Businessweek: Bacteria Are Adapting to Drugs Faster than We Can Develop New Ones
“…The WHO report is the latest urgent alarm that our medical arsenal may be running out of ammunition against potentially deadly bugs. The last new class of antibiotic drugs was developed in the 1980s. The drought since then, the organization says, is ‘a discovery void’…” (Tozzi, 4/30).

Financial Times: Antibiotic resistance threatens modern medicine, WHO warns
“Antibiotic resistance is ‘a threat so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine,’ the World Health Organization has warned…” (Cookson, 4/30).

The Guardian: Antibiotics are losing effectiveness in every country, says WHO
“…’Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,’ said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director general for health security…” (Boseley, 4/30).

Nature: WHO warns against ‘post-antibiotic’ era
“…There is nothing hopeful in the WHO’s report, which pulls together data from 129 member states to show extensive resistance to antimicrobial agents in every region of the world. Overuse of antibiotics in agriculture — to promote livestock growth — and in hospitals quickly leads to proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria, which then spread via human travel and poor sanitation practices…” (Reardon, 4/30).

Reuters/Globe and Mail: WHO warns medicine-resistant superbugs entrenched all over world
“The World Health Organization is warning that superbugs are now a major health threat across the globe, and experts say Canada could be doing more to track them and slow their spread in this country…” (Grant, 4/30).

Reuters: ‘Superbugs’ that can overpower antibiotics are spreading: WHO
“…Only a handful of new antibiotics have been developed and brought to market in the past few decades, and it is a race against time to find more as bacterial infections increasingly evolve into ‘superbugs’ resistant to even the most powerful last-resort medicines reserved for extreme cases…” (Kelland, 5/1).

ScienceInsider: First Global Drug Resistance Overview Paints Grim Picture
“…For gonorrhea, which infects more than one million people every day, third-generation cephalosporins are the last resort. But treatment failure has already been confirmed in Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Norway, South Africa, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom…” (Kupferschmidt, 4/30).

Scientific American: Antibiotic Resistance Is Now Rife across the Entire Globe
“…WHO warns that the situation could have sweeping effects on global medicine, economics and societies unless global actions are taken swiftly. A dearth of effective antibiotics will mean that infected patients will need more extensive care, require longer hospital stays and die in greater numbers…” (Maron, 4/30).

U.N. News Centre: First U.N. report on antibiotic resistance reveals ‘serious threat’ to global public health
“…The report, which is kick-starting a global effort led by WHO to address drug resistance, reveals that key tools to tackle antibiotic resistance, such as basic systems to track and monitor the problem, show gaps or do not exist in many countries. While some countries have taken important steps in addressing the problem, every country and individual needs to do more…” (4/30).

VOA News: Resistance to Antibiotics Spreading Worldwide
“…Health officials cite the misuse and inappropriate use of drugs and the practice of adding antibiotics to agricultural feed to fatten animals as some of the factors leading to growing antibiotic resistance…” (Schlein, 4/30).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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