Herewith the second of the things I saw on The Telegraph website this morning (this being the first), albeit that this one appears to have been around for a short while. It’s all about antibiotic resistance.
The microbiologist in me has been telling you for a long time that we’re about to run out of useful antibiotics and that we’re all
doomed buggered. Well, here’s a nice little project from The Telegraph which sums up whole miserable situation up quite nicely. It doesn’t condescendingly spoon-feed the information, but rather, it’s nicely aimed at engaging with an audience which it presumes is interested and intelligent. Yes. I mean you guys.
There are expert quotes:
“We risk going into a post-antibiotic era, and that could start any time in the next 10 or 20 years, when modern medicine becomes impossible. Routine surgical procedures – hip replacements, caesarean sections, modern cancer treatments – all are based on using antibiotics to prevent or treat infections. Without them, people will die.”
…some lovely soundbites:
Sir Alexander Fleming did warn us. During a speech in Stockholm in 1945 after accepting his Nobel Prize, Fleming sounded “one note of warning” over bacteria becoming resistant through inappropriate use of the drug. “The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops.” he said. The idea of his precious discovery being stockpiled by online pharmacies, used to fatten up our fish and livestock, dumped in rivers and sprayed over fields, would have baffled and horrified him in equal measure.
…and a superb interactive graph showing how long it took for our bacterial foes to become resistant to each and every antibiotic from Penicillin (13 years) to Macrolides (a couple of months).
It even mentions Dr Ajit Lalvani, with whom I used to play football every Thursday evening in Oxford (decent, if unenergetic midfield general; good at pointing a lot, in case you were wondering), so it must be good.
If you have a few minutes spare, and you want to read how utterly doomed we all are (because who doesn’t?) and how you can do pretty much nothing about it, go and give it a read.