Superbugs pose a greater threat than Covid, warns health expert

England's former chief medical officer claims that the rise of drug-resistant superbugs could present a crisis worse than the Covid pandemic.

Kat Lay reports for The Guardian.


In short:

  • Prof Dame Sally Davies, the UK’s special envoy on antimicrobial resistance, emphasizes the urgent need to address superbug resistance, which she views as more severe than climate change.
  • Drug-resistant infections, killing over 1.2 million people annually, could jeopardize modern medical procedures like surgeries and cancer treatments if not controlled.
  • The UK government has launched a national action plan to curb the misuse of antimicrobials and foster new treatments and vaccines.

Key quote:

“It looks like a lot of people with untreatable infections, and we would have to move to isolating people who were untreatable in order not to infect their families and communities. So it’s a really disastrous picture.”

— Prof Dame Sally Davies, former chief medical officer

Why this matters:

The growing threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens poses a potential global health crisis that could dwarf the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more: Scientists warn of disinfectant dangers.

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