Health chief warns: age of safe medicine is ending

This story has been building for decades.  From nearly the time when the first antibiotic, penicillin, was put into use.  

– I’ve commented before that I believe one of the answers to the general question:

What is wrong with we Human beings that we are so dysfunctional and self-destructive?

involves an inborn bias.  

– I.e., in acting out our evolutionarily derived nature, we tend to over value things that are concrete, now and near.  

– And, correspondingly, we tend to under value things that are abstract, then and far. 

– Hence, I use the word ‘bias‘ because rationally and logically, all of these things should have equal value.

– That we’d have a bias makes good sense because while we were evolving, in a survival of the fittest world, those of us that tended to favor the concrete, now and near aspects of their environment, probably survived better than those who did not.

– But, this is a new world now and the threats to ourselves and our futures are much more dependent on the abstract, then and far aspects of our world. 

– So, our inborn short-shortsightedness is shown clearly in the problems we’re having now with antibiotics and the growing bacterial resistance to them.  

– Most of us don’t understand why bacterial resistance to antibiotics arises (too abstract).  And when the problem does arise (which it will, whether we understand it or not), it will arise in some future time and place (then and far).  So, all of these factors tend to cause us to devalue the problem’s potential.

– But abstract, then and far as the issue of bacterial antibiotic resistance might have seemed in the past, it is manifesting now and we will unavoidably reap what we’ve sown.

– Personally, I find the idea that we might start dying again from diseases we’d already largely conquered like Tuberculosis, completely repugnant.

– Dennis

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The world is entering an era where injuries as common as a child’s scratched knee could kill, where patients entering hospital gamble with their lives and where routine operations such as a hip replacement become too dangerous to carry out, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

There is a global crisis in antibiotics caused by rapidly evolving resistance among microbes responsible for common infections that threatens to turn them into untreatable diseases, said Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO.

Addressing a meeting of infectious disease experts in Copenhagen, she said that every antibiotic ever developed was at risk of becoming useless.

“A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”

She continued: “Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe, and elsewhere in the world. We are losing our first-line antimicrobials.

“Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units.

“For patients infected with some drug-resistant pathogens, mortality has been shown to increase by around 50 per cent …”

Britain has seen a 30 per cent rise in cases of blood poisoning caused by E. coli bacteria between 2005 and 2009, from 18,000 to more than 25,000 cases.

Those resistant to antibiotics have risen from 1 per cent at the beginning of the century to 10 per cent.

The most powerful antibiotics are carbapenems, which are used as a last line of defence for the treatment of resistant infections.

In 2009, carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae, a bug present in the gut, were first detected in Greece but by the following year had spread to Italy, Austria, Cyprus and Hungary.

The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the percentage of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae had doubled from 7 per cent to 15 per cent. An estimated 25,000 people die each year in the European Union from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

– More…


One Response to “Health chief warns: age of safe medicine is ending”

  1. Mike says:

    Hum, this is a good news story, not bad. The pandemic is actually the runaway human population that is destroying the planet. The good news is that equilibrium will eventually occur. The evidence is in these little articles you publish that reveal the chinks in the armor.

    I do wonder how your mind works. You seem to get all out of shape when something happens that threatens millions or even billions of humans? I don’t know why? It’s clear that this planet simply can’t support the numbers we currently have. Everything we do to stall a collapse in the reproduction/longevity cycle is just ratcheting up the suffering and misery when it all comes crashing down.

    It is a cycle and it will run its course like it or not. Get over it!