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Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Could Put 3 Million Surgeries At Risk

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A new report by the Public Health England has warned about an antibiotic-resistant infection that has been turning common surgeries lethal. 

The researchers revealed that the issue is threatening more than 3 million patients in the United Kingdom who will undergo routine procedures such as cesarian sections and hip replacements. 

The report was published on Oct. 23 as part of the Public Health England's English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance or ESPAUR. 

Antibiotics Apocalypse

As a response, the health body has launched "Keep Antibiotics Working," a campaign that warns the public about the problem of antibiotics resistance and dissuades the misuse of medication. Public Health England is urging the public to only take antibiotics as prescribed by their healthcare professionals. 

Experts have long been warning the public about the threat of antibiotics resistance. Antibiotics are meant to curb serious bacterial infections but, often, people take the drug to treat common illnesses such as coughs and sore throats. This has been causing bacteria to evolve and develop resistance to antibiotics faster than experts can develop new drugs to counter the new health threat. 

Stop Antibiotics Misuse

Antibiotics are important during surgeries. The drug helps in preventing infections, putting people at risk of having serious complications. 

The drug is also administered to cancer patients whose immune system are unable to fight infections. When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, many will be vulnerable to serious illnesses. 

"It's concerning that, in the not too distant future, we may see more cancer patients, mothers who've had caesareans and patients who've had other surgery facing life-threatening situations if antibiotics fail to ward off infections," stated Paul Cosford, Medical Director of Public Health England.

However, the new report revealed that the rate of antibiotic-resistant bloodstream infections during surgeries rose by an estimated 35 percent between 2013 and 2017. Moreover, despite the imminent threat of antibiotics resistance, about 38 percent of patients demand antibiotics from their doctors for common illnesses last year. 

The World Health Organization warned that the increase of antibiotic resistance will soon outpace the development of new drugs to counter them. The United Kingdom has made efforts to reduce the prescription of antibiotics to patients dealing with non-threatening illnesses. Between 2012 and 2016, the country recorded a reduced 5 percent antibiotic prescribing. 

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