News / Health

    Report: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Pose Major Threat to Global Public Health

    Report: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Pose Major Threat to Global Public Healthi
    X
    May 01, 2014 4:12 AM
    Doctors have long warned against prolonged use of antibiotics, saying that bacteria can build resistance to drugs, eventually rendering them ineffective. The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that antibiotic-resistant bacteria now exist in many parts of the world. Zlatica Hoke reports that some diseases that once could easily be cured by antibiotics have now become deadly.
    Zlatica Hoke
    Doctors have long warned against prolonged use of antibiotics, saying that bacteria can build resistance to drugs, eventually rendering them ineffective. The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that antibiotic-resistant bacteria now exist in many parts of the world. Some diseases that once could easily be cured by antibiotics have now become deadly.
     
    The Geneva-based WHO said its survey shows very high rates of drug-resistant E. coli bacteria, which can cause meningitis and infections of the skin, blood, kidneys and other organs. The agency's assistant director-general, Keiji Fukuda, said Wednesday that the survey also found worrying rates of resistance in other bacteria, such as those that cause pneumonia, diarrhea, urinary tract infections and gonorrhea. 
     
    "It's clear that rates are very high of resistance among bacteria, causing many of the most common serious infections, the ones that we see both occurring in the community, as well as in hospitals," said Fukuda.
     
    Romanian doctor Adrian Cercel said he has virtually no treatment left for some of his patients.
     
    "During the last 20 years, the bacteria have developed very sophisticated resistance mechanisms, and we are facing a situation in which we don't have antibiotics to treat the patient due to the existence of pan-resistant germs," said Cercel.
     
    The WHO's survey shows that in some countries, many types of bacterial infections do not respond to antibiotic treatment in more than half of patients. Public health specialists blame overconsumption of antibiotics, which are often prescribed for non-bacterial ailments. Jean-Baptiste Ronat, with the group Doctors Without Borders, said that people also can consume the drug inadvertently by eating meat from animals that have been treated with antibiotics.
     
    "So the two main dangers, actually, [are] the use and the overuse of antibiotics in food factories and animal production - especially the fact that we use antibiotics as growth factors since ages in the U.S. and all over the world. It has been restricted in Europe since 2001. And the second one is the overuse in human health. Taking into account that most of the time people take antibiotics because they have a common cold and because the patient want[s] antibiotics," said Ronat.
     
    Ronat and others said the world is returning to conditions similar to the era before antibiotics. 
     
    "That means in the 19th [century], so before the first world war, where we had no antibiotics and where we were just dying because of a urinary tract infection or because of a pulmonary infection.  So this is what is going to happen in the future," predicted Ronat.
     
    The WHO report describes the problem as a major threat to global public health. It recommends that people use antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor. They should complete the full prescription, never share antibiotics with others, and never use leftover prescriptions.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora