Council issues warning amid 'post-antibiotic apocalypse' fears

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 November 2017

Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire County Council

Archant

Hertfordshire County Council is urging residents not to take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary ahead of an awareness week.

Ahead of Antibiotic Awareness Week, the county council has joined medical experts nationwide in warning of a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” and the “end of modern medicine” if it is not addressed urgently.

It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections and this figure is set to rise.

Experts are predicting that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

Cabinet Member for public health at Hertfordshire County Council, Richard Roberts, said: “Antibiotics help ward off infections during chemotherapy, caesarean sections and other surgery.

“They also treat serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis, but they are being used for everyday viral infections, such as colds or flu, where they are not effective.

“Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.”

He urged residents to trust medical experts when they say antibiotics are not necessary, always take them as directed and never save them.

Paul Cosford, medical director at Public Health England, said: “Antibiotic resistance is not a distant threat, but is in fact one of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today.

“Without urgent action from all of us, common infections, minor injuries and routine operations will become much riskier.”

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