INSIDE THIS ARTICLE: may soon be facing a world without antibiotics, one where simple diseases are again deadly, at least according to the WHO’s new (and first) report on the growing antibiotic resistance crisis.

The culprit, according to WHO? The overprescription of antibiotics. While their use in livestock is also a problem, in many parts of the world over-prescribing alone has turned everyday disease into a supercharged superbug nightmare. Doctors are losing their tools to treat patients, leaving them only the basics: hygiene and prevention.

And we’ve reached the end of our current line of antibiotics—1) there’s no profit in developing them, (lots of research for a short window of use) 2) they have such intense side-effects, they aren’t always better than what they cure.

There is hope: several countries are working on replacements for antibiotics. Possibly a virus-based antibacterial agent (current antibiotics are based on fungi), or even one based on nanotech or other advances (hey, colloidal silver may even make a comeback!).

In the meantime, make sure you take care of yourself. It boils down to frequent handwashing, and that long, tiresome list of must-dos: sleep enough, eat right, get as much exercise as you can, and listen to your body. You want to stop or catch problems before they get serious, because besides basic diseases not being as easily treated, surgery is going to get a lot more risky, too.

Are you following the global discussion about antibiotics?


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