A recent study from the Lancet reveals that antibiotic resistance is becoming a growing concern. The research points out the impact is global and will continue to have drastic consequences for the future. Superbugs are a threat that could shake modern medicine.
Antibiotic resistance is defined as bacteria’s ability to survive drug treatments because antibiotics can become ineffective and allow for the formation of resistant superbugs. Experts have noticed a rise in antibiotic resistance that is alarming. In the United States, 2 million people get infections every year that are antibiotic resistant, and more than 20,000 people die each year.
The CDC views this issue as a threat and warns that anyone could become a victim. Similarly, the latest research from the Lancet reveals the threat is becoming worse. There are predictions that routine surgeries could become deadly in the future because infections would no longer respond to any antibiotic. The Lancet warns that these setbacks in medicine could wipe out years of advancements and leave a vulnerable global population.
The grave warnings from researchers have been echoed by others for many years. There have been attempts to curb the use of antibiotics by doctors and hospitals. There has also been a growing focus on hygiene and sanitation. Unfortunately, these efforts seem to have done little to stop the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.
Researchers suggest that educating patients is an important part of the process. Since many of them have come to believe that antibiotics must be part of their treatment plan, it is crucial to present alternatives. Experts point out that some patients continue to seek second opinions if doctors do not prescribe antibiotics immediately.
There is another important factor in the battle to stop antibiotic resistance. Pharmaceutical companies have not been exploring or developing many new antibiotics in recent years because this type of research is viewed as less profitable. Other conditions and diseases have taken over their focus. Meanwhile, antibiotic resistance is becoming worse, and new antibiotics are not showing up on the market.
The overuse of antibiotics is difficult to combat since sick patients are not the only ones who may require them. The fishing industry and others use antibiotics on a daily basis. Researchers have suggested that pharmaceutical companies should be encouraged to develop new antibiotics. However, convincing them that this is a lucrative venture will not be easy.
Efforts to change the overuse of antibiotics will require a commitment from the global community. First, the need for antibiotics must be assessed on an individual basis. Although there are still medical conditions that require the use of antibiotics, some doctors are still prescribing the drugs for viruses that cannot be treated this way. Second, the actual antibiotics used in a treatment plan must be selected carefully. Researchers have suggested that this requires an understanding of resistance patterns on a local level. Some areas respond better to certain antibiotics than others. Doctors and patients will have to make changes in the future to combat antibiotic resistance.