The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that antibiotics are losing their power to fight infections, which may lead to extensive drug resistance in the near future.
“The problem is so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine,” the WHO said in a report published on Wednesday.
According to the report, if the current trend continues, minor infections that are treatable now could become incurable and cause death.
“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, 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,” WHO Assistant Director General for Health Security Keiji Fukuda said.
“Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating,” Fukuda added.
In some countries the antibiotic treatment has proven useless on more than half of the patients, the report noted.
Health experts have long warned against the dangers of drug resistance particularly in diseases such as tuberculosis and the flu.
The WHO said doctors should only prescribe antibiotics when they are necessary and patients should only use them when recommend by a doctor. Patients should also complete the full cycle of prescription.