The dangerous legacy of COVID-19: A rise in antimicrobial resistance
The widespread, inadvertent use of antimicrobial drugs in this pandemic could leave us with another, more dangerous legacy: a dramatic increase in drug-resistant infections.
Drug-resistant infections (often referred to as “superbugs”) emerge through a complex interplay of humans, animals and the environment. Excessive and increased use of antibiotics over several decades has led to a growing list of organisms that no longer respond to treatment. It’s called antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. It costs us $1.4-billion annually and, before this pandemic, it was predicted to cause the loss of 256,000 Canadian lives by 2050.
Today, we are watching the alarming spread of the new coronavirus. With no proven treatment, it marches, unbridled, across the globe. In the same way, drug-resistant bacteria could lead to the frightening spread of bacterial infections that would no longer respond to currently reliable antibiotics.
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