The World Health Organisation has warned antibiotic resistance has created superbugs which threaten us all; possibly creating a time where antibiotics will no longer work and simple illnesses will again kill.
The WHO has released its first report into the issue and says the resistance poses a serious threat to global health.
The report blames doctors overprescribing antibiotics and their misuse as causing the growth of superbugs.
Dr Peter Collignon from the Australian National University’s School of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology says bugs resistant to antibiotics is something that’s been building up for years.
“It’s been getting much worse over the last ten years.”
“If you look at data from India for instance, half their common infections, the e-coli bug that is a common cause of urinary tract infections and blood stream infections, is for practical purposes untreatable.”
Dr Collignon says that while there are often a number of other things that can be done to treat people with serious infections, sometimes patients are untreatable.
“The reality is for a lot of these we have less and less options for antibiotics and in some cases no options.”
“Speaking as a clinician I get a thrill out of having people who I can fix who are very sick.”
“We give them an antibiotic and within a few days they’re much better.”
Dr Collignon says not being able to treat patients with life threatening infections that were curable until recently is distressing.
To listen to the full interview with Dr Peter Collignon click on the audio player.