1.2 million died because of it .. What germs killed more than AIDS and malaria?
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More than 1.2 million people died in 2019 from infections caused by multi-antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a report released Thursday said, higher than the number of deaths from HIV or malaria.
Global health officials have repeatedly warned of the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and other microbes due to the misuse or overuse of antibiotics, which encourages microorganisms to develop into “superbugs”.
The new report on “Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance”, published in the Lancet medical journal, revealed that antimicrobial resistance is directly responsible for an estimated 1.27 million deaths, and that it was among the causes of death in about 4.95 million cases.
The study analyzed data from about 204 countries and territories. “This new data reveals the true extent of antimicrobial resistance in the world,” said Chris Murray, a professor at the University of Washington who co-authored the study. Previous estimates had predicted 10 million deaths annually due to antimicrobial resistance by the year 2050, but now we know for sure that we are indeed much closer than we thought.”
Last year, the World Health Organization warned that 43 antibiotics being developed or recently approved were not enough to fight antimicrobial resistance.
One way to deal with antimicrobial resistance is to look to a new approach to treatment, said Cornelius Clancy, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
Most of the deaths involved in 2019 were caused by drug-resistant infections in the lower respiratory tract such as pneumonia, followed by infections in the bloodstream and intra-abdominal infections. The impact of antimicrobial resistance is now more severe in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, while about one-fifth of deaths are in children under five years of age.
The availability of data from some regions was limited, especially in many low- and middle-income countries, which limits the accuracy of the study’s estimates. Clancy said the focus has been on COVID-19 for the last two years, but that antimicrobial resistance is “the kind of long-term challenge.”