Antibiotic resistance is on the rise and and has been declared as a world crisis by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to a WHO statement released yesterday, many people across the world are confused about the significance and proper use of antibiotics and the correct method of taking them without harm. This is contributing to a rise in antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is a problem when bacteria adapt and mutate to survive against the antibiotics used to treat them.
It is believed that antibiotic resistance is a result of the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. When these drugs are overused, the development of so-called superbugs appears to increase.
Tuberculosis, typhoid and gonorrhea, among other bacteria, have developed into superbugs, growing resistant to multiple antibiotics. This is resulting in the the deaths of hundreds of people and the numbers seem to be increasing every year.
While conducting a press conference from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan warned that the problem is fast “reaching dangerously high levels” all over the world and could even “end” modern medicine.
Researchers believe that antibiotic resistance could one day make most antibiotics obsolete.
Findings of the public awareness survey was released and published by the U.N. agency and confirmed that 64 percent of respondents believe falsely that antibiotics can be taken as cold and flu treatment. However, antibiotics based are not able to resolve viral infections.
Apart from this there are an additional 32 percent people who think that they can abstain from the entire antibiotic course after they start to feel slightly better. The complete course of treatment must be completed, however, or the bacteria could survive and grown immune to the antibiotic used.
The WHO special representative for antimicrobial resistance, Keiji Fukuda, stated that the results of this survey demonstrates the need for an urgent improvement in the awareness in the proper the usage of antibiotics.
He added, “One of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century will require global behavior change by individuals and societies. He said that the increasing superbug infections is a “race against the pathogens” and a period of 5 to 10 years will be required to change this situation.
Representatives from the WHO also spoke about the important role that physicians can play in combating resistance to antibiotics. The WHO calls out doctors to spread awareness about the fact that antibiotics must be used exactly as prescribed and the course should be completed. Doctors must also sway their patients away from the casual use of antibiotics.