According to the EU, the number of deaths caused by antibiotic resistant infections is rising sharply and estimations suggest the figure is approximately 25,000 a year.
Doctors and hospitals are now being warned to think twice before administering antibiotics to patients to try and prevent even more people developing a drug resistance.
The release of the news and advice coincides with European Antibiotics Awareness Day which is today, Friday 18 November.
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These warnings over antibiotic use are not the first – two years ago the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed drug-resistance as being one of the three main health threats currently faced by the world.
Recent reports from the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) also revealed that in a number of countries, half of patients with blood poisoning caused by the K. Pneumonia bug were resistant to the most effective type of antibiotic treatments – carbapenems.
The ECDC has estimated this resistance has a financial impact of approximately €1.5billion, the equivalent to $2billion, which is caused by an extended need for care and subsequent losses in productivity.
In a bid to tackle this growing problem, the EU has announced plans to boost research into the resistance and promote the development of new, affordable drugs.
The EU Health Commissioner, John Dalli, said: “We need to take swift and determined action if we do not want to lose antimicrobial medicines as essential treatment against bacterial infections in both humans and animals.”
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