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Superbugs could kill more than 10 million by 2050

19/05/2016

Superbugs could kill more than 10 million by 2050By 2050, superbugs will kill someone every three seconds unless the world acts now. That's the stark warning to come out of a highly-influential new report from the UK.

According to the British government-commissioned review, medicine risks "being cast back into the dark ages", and only billions of dollars of investment can save the world from these so-called "superbugs".

The global review sets out a plan to prevent this from happening, and calls for a massive campaign to revolutionise the way in which people use antibiotics.

At present, the problem is two-fold: we are not developing enough new antibiotics and we are currently misusing the ones we do have.

Since mid-2014, when the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance started, more than one million people have died from infections that are resistant to drugs. What's more worrying is that the review predicts that the situation will only get worse, with 10 million people per year predicted to die from resistant infections by 2050.

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Jim O'Neill, the economist who led the review, said: "If we don't do something, we're heading towards a world where there will be no antibiotics available to treat people who need them."

Last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron asked O'Neill to conduct a full review of the problem and suggest ways to combat it. O'Neill's final report - which you can access here - identifies 10 areas that require action from world leaders.

Infections that shouldn't be treated with antibiotics include: colds, flu, most coughs and bronchitis, some sore throats, many sinus infections and many ear infections.
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