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Antimicrobial resistance presents an “apocalyptic” threat similar to that of climate change, CMO warns

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1597 (Published 11 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1597
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Action is needed at both a national and international level to avert the “ticking time bomb” of antimicrobial resistance, which presents a threat as grave as climate change, the chief medical officer for England has warned.

In the second volume of her annual report for 2011, Infections and the rise of antimicrobial resistance,1 Sally Davies spelt out the threat—overuse of existing antibiotics and increasing resistance to them, a “discovery void” of new antibiotics, a change in the types of organism presenting the greatest threat, and the need for better training of NHS staff in hygiene and infection control.

“If we don’t get this right we will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar to the early 19th century,” …

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