Antimicrobial resistance could be the next pandemic after COVID-19
The current COVID-19 pandemic appears to have accelerated the threat of antimicrobial resistance, as many patients in the hospitals displaying COVID-19 symptoms are treated with antibiotics to reduce their chances of contracting secondary bacterial infections. This is making resistant bacteria more common. It has been estimated that up to 95% of COVID-19 inpatients are being prescribed antibiotics as part of their treatment.1
As with most colds and flus, coronavirus is a viral infection, which means treating it with antibiotics is useless and this shows need for faster testing for coronavirus and other infections, which could reduce overuse of antibiotics. United Nations’ Ad hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance has warned that if action is not taken, drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050.
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Ref 1. Antibiotics used for treating COVID-19 patients may result in increased resistance to drugs' benefits. Accessed 11.9.2020.