Drug-resistant superbugs: A global threat intensified by the fight against coronavirus

  21 April 2020

With the world’s attention on COVID-19, I believe that now is the time to talk about another pandemic that’s been happening right under our noses: antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

When infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungi stop responding to the medicines designed to treat them, that’s AMR. Resistance builds over time through overexposure to antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, or disinfectants. With ineffective treatments, these infections persist in the body and ultimately spread to others.

A major public health and economic risk

AMR is a slower-moving pandemic than COVID-19, but one that is worsening every day. A recent report by the Council of Canadian Academies said that in 2018, more than a quarter of all infections in Canada were resistant to first-line drugs. In that one year alone, 5,400 people died as a direct result of resistant infections.

Further reading: The Conversation
Author(s): Stephen Kahn
Effective Surveillance  
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