The next pandemic? It may already be upon us

  16 February 2021

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a silver lining to this pandemic? If history is anything to go by there may actually turn out to be a number of them, though we can’t quite see them yet, but here’s one that is just beginning to gleam. In the words of Prof Kevin Outterson: “Today, people understand the social disruption from an untreatable infection.”

Outterson teaches health law at Boston University, but you could also think of him as an activist on the cause of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the rising tide of microbial evolution that threatens to sweep away a central pillar of modern medicine – antibiotics, or more generally, anti-infectives. This tide has been rising for decades, though for a long time only medics and those who directly experienced the horrifying consequences of AMR realised what a threat it posed. Covid-19 could change that.

Further reading: The Guardian
Author(s): Laura Spinney
Effective Surveillance  
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