The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

May 3, 2014

WHO warns world headed for ‘post-antibiotic era’

Officials from the World Health Organization warned this week that the workhorse medications we rely on to keep viruses, bacteria and other pathogens in check are in real danger of becoming obsolete.

In every region of the globe, health officials have witnessed “very high rates of resistance” to antimicrobial drugs designed to fight bugs like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae, according to a new report. These bugs cause pneumonia and infections in the bloodstream, open wounds and the urinary tract.

All six of the WHO’s regions

include at least one country in which at least half of the strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae are resistant to penicillin and at least half of K. pneumoniae strains are resistant to cephalosporin drugs, the report says.

In addition, five of the six WHO regions include at least one country where at least half of the strains of S. aureus are resistant to methicillin. Also, five of the six regions have at least one country where half of the E. coli strains are now drug-resistant, according to the report.

In many parts of the world antimicrobial resistance “has reached alarming levels,” the report says. But it outlines an array of threats that underscore the vulnerability of all nations, both rich and poor. To wit:

• A growing number of people with HIV are finding that some antiretroviral drugs don’t work for them. In the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan an estimated 10 percent to 17 percent of patients who are just starting drug treatment are infected with a virus that’s resistant to at least one drug.

• Health experts know that strains of tuberculosis resistant to multiple drugs are on the rise, with roughly 20 percent of recurrent cases falling into this category. But a lack of reliable data on the spread of these strains hampers efforts to get a handle on the problem.

• A handful of countries have identified strains of malaria that are resistant to the drug artemisinin, which is usually a powerful weapon against the parasite that causes the potentially fatal disease. If those drug-resistant strains spread, recent gains in malaria control could be wiped out.

Unless the WHO and its 194 member states get serious about tracking these drug-resistant pathogens, health officials will have no chance to contain their spread, the report says. To that end, the organization will take a lead role in developing surveillance systems to track these bugs in both people and livestock.

If the international community fails to cooperate, “the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, said in a statement.

“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier and benefit from modern medicine,” he said. “Unless we take significant actions . the implications will be devastating.”

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Troubled childhoods may prompt men to volunteer for military service

    In the era of the all-volunteer U.S. military, men who served are more than twice as likely as those who never did to have been sexually abused as children and to have grown up around domestic violence and substance abuse, a new study has found.

    July 24, 2014

  • As poverty continues to rise, fewer Ohioans are receiving state aid

    The number of Ohioans receiving public assistance continues to drop even while poverty increases, raising questions about how the state helps the poor.

    July 24, 2014

  • ’Saltwater’ from fracking spill much different from ocean water

    In early July, a million gallons of salty drilling waste spilled from a pipeline onto a steep hillside in western North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Reservation. The waste — a byproduct of oil and gas production — has now reached a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, which provides drinking water to the reservation.

    July 24, 2014

  • 40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

    Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.

    July 23, 2014

  • U.S. pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.

    July 23, 2014

  • GROUNDED U.S., other countries ban flights to and from Israel

    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.

    July 23, 2014

  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

  • Veteran's Ducks Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks

    An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stacked Apartment.jpg New York building shows how mod design stacks up as cool

    In a city piled high with ambitious architecture, a seven-floor structure off the beaten path boasts a distinction of its own: It’s billed as the first multistory, modular-built apartment building to open in the nation’s apartment capital.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scores dead in first major ground battle in Gaza

    The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting exacted a steep price Sunday: It killed 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhood, reportedly used to launch rockets at Israel and now devastated by the fighting.

    July 21, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video