Home Health Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to modern health

Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to modern health


Experts warn that resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to modern health.

The warning from England’s chief medical officer and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) comes amid reports of growing problems with resistant strains of bugs such as E. coli and gonorrhea.

They said many antibiotics were being used unnecessarily for mild infections, helping to create resistance.

And they urged patients to take more care with how they used medicines.

This is particularly important as there are very few new antibiotics in development.

The chief medical officer, Prof. Dame Sally Davies, said: “Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible – similar to global warming.

“I urge patients and prescribers to think about the drugs they are requesting and dispensing.

“Bacteria are adapting and finding ways to survive the effects of antibiotics, ultimately becoming resistant so they no longer work.

“The more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it.”

To reinforce her message, Dame Sally Davies has issued a list of “dos and don’ts”.

These include:

  • Do remember antibiotics should      be taken only when prescribed by a health professional.
  • Do complete the prescribed      course even if you feel better, as not taking the full course encourages      the emergence of resistance.
  • Don’t share antibiotics with      anyone else.
  • Do remember that antibiotics      cannot help you recover from infections caused by viruses, such as colds      or flu.