In its first global survey of the resistance problem, WHO said it found very high rates of drug-resistant E. coli bacteria, which causes problems including meningitis and infections of the skin, blood and the kidneys. The agency noted there are many countries where treatment for the bug is useless in more than half of patients.
WHO's report also found worrying rates of resistance in other bacteria, including common causes of pneumonia and gonorrhea.
Unless there is urgent action, "the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill," Dr.
WHO acknowledged it couldn't assess the validity of the data provided by countries and that many had no information on antibiotic resistance available.
Health experts have long warned about the dangers of drug resistance, particularly in diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and flu. In a report by
"We see horrendous rates of antibiotic resistance wherever we look...including children admitted to nutritional centers in
WHO said people should use antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor, that they should complete the full prescription and never share antibiotics with others or use leftover prescriptions.
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