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AMR superbugs expected to kill 90,000 Britons in the next 30 years

Published on 08/11/18 at 09:54am

Antibiotic resistant superbugs will kill more than 90,000 British people over the next thirty years if action is not taken to halt rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned.

Meanwhile AMR bugs will kill an estimated 2.4 million in Europe, North America and Australia by 2050, unless more is done.

The report has come on the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu. In recognition of the centennial, 150 senior academics, policymakers and healthcare professionals will meet at the Science Museum in London to discuss the threat of infectious diseases.

The Spanish Flu, which infected 500 million around the globe, killed between 50 and 100 million people in the pandemic of 1918/19. However experts will argue that a combination of antimicrobial resistance, complacency, austerity, climate change, urbanisation and migration is now increasing the risk of infectious diseases and pandemics in the modern world.

David Sinclair, ILC Director is expected to call on policymakers to take action against infectious diseases and AMR: “The Spanish flu shaped the profile of a generation, their demographics but also their health profile.  One hundred years on, it is vital that we do not become complacent about infectious diseases.

We must learn the lessons from this deadly disease to ensure that history does not repeat itself. Reporting on science should be clear, transparent and evidence based. There is no space for fake news if we are to be best prepared.

Policymakers must not rest on their laurels. Antimicrobial Resistance is a real threat and vaccination across the life course should be our first line of defence.”

Meanwhile Steven Baxter, Head of Longevity Innovation & Research, Hymans Robertson LLP is expected to highlight the looming threat of AMR: “A modern day antibiotic resistant pandemic would have far reaching impact. Immediate effects of huge morbidity, loss of economic productivity, massive strain on health systems and potentially material loss of life are obvious. But there are also likely to be longer term effects.

The Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 resulted in a generation resilient to the H1N1 flu strain, but heightened susceptibility to other flu strains. It also left a legacy respiratory and cardiovascular weaknesses within younger suffers believed to have manifested many decades later.”

Louis Goss

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