Resistant bacteria cost many lives and money, warns OECD



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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria not only endanger lives, but also affect health systems: they can result in up to $ 3.5 billion in annual spending by 2050 in each OECD country, according to a report released Wednesday. market.

Resistant bacteria cost many lives and money, warns OECDEnding excessive prescription of antibiotics may be one of the measures to combat bacteria.

"These bacteria are more expensive than the flu than AIDS than tuberculosis. And they will cost even more if the states do not act to solve this problemMichele Cechini, a public health expert at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), told AFP.

According to him, countries already allocate an average of 10% of their health budget to the treatment of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

According to projections in the report, which concerns 33 of the 36 OECD countries, resistant bacteria could kill 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia by 2050.

A separate study, published Monday in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, had 33,000 the number of deaths attributable to these bacteria in 2015 in the European Union.

However, we could combat them with "simple measures" at a moderate cost, according to the OECD: "encourage better hygiene"(encouraging, for example, washing hands)"put an end to the excessive prescription of antibiotics"or generalize the rapid diagnostic tests to determine if an infection is viral (in which case antibiotics are useless) or bacterial.

According to the OECD, such measures would cost only $ 2 per person per year and would prevent three-quarters of the deaths.

"Investments in a major public health program incorporating some of these measures could be amortized over a year and would result in a savings of $ 4.8 billion annually."says the OECD.

Health authorities, beginning with the World Health Organization (WHO), regularly warn about the danger of excessive consumption of antibiotics, which produces resistant and fearsome bacteria. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk.

"In Brazil, Indonesia and Russia, between 40 and 60% of infections are already resistant, compared with an average of 17% in OECD countries", emphasizes the latter.

Most worrying yet "Resistance to second or third line antibiotics is expected to be 70% higher in 2030 than in 2005These antibiotics are, however, those that should be used as a last resort when there is no other solution.

Started on November 8, 2018

Sources:

Setting the Superbug Tideb – OECD – November 7, 2018 (report available online)

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