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What is the news?
According to a study published in The Lancet, Superbugs kill around 1.27 million people globally every year.
What are Superbugs?
Superbugs are pathogens which are resistant to multiple antimicrobial drugs, thus making it harder to treat.
Patients infected with any of these bugs often have to be treated with last line drugs, which are both expensive and toxic. And many of them succumb.
What are the findings of this study on Superbugs?
Superbugs kill around 1.27 million people globally every year. Almost 30% or 3.89 lakh of these deaths occurred in South Asia in 2019.
The high levels of hospitalisations from Covid-19 have possibly accelerated the burden of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) as most patients were prescribed antibiotics. (In India, a five-day course of common antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin was given to several Covid patients.)
The study has also highlighted three concerns going forward:
– growing drug resistance in children
– tepid response by governments and
– lack of research for new antibiotics.
|Note: In 2019, one in five global deaths attributable to AMR occurred in kids under five—often from previously treatable infections.|
Moreover, the study has also found that AMR disproportionately affects poor individuals who have little access to second-line, more expensive antibiotics that could work when first-line drugs fail.
Source: This post is based on the article ‘Superbugs claim 1.3m lives a year, 3.9L in S Asia alone’ published in TOI on 20th January 2022.