The World Health Organization says we are ill prepared to fight superbugs. These microorganisms -- bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites -- morph over time to become resistant to medications commonly used.
There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development about antibiotic-resistant infections, including tuberculosis, tweeted Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are merely modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions, tweets the WHO.
WHO warned Wednesday that there are very few potential treatment options to tuberculosis, which kills around 250,000 people each year. The list of superbugs also includes drug-resistant strains of E. coli, pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
The Spanish flu, which may have started in the U.S., killed more people than the First World War itself, Tedros said Tuesday at New York's Columbia University. There is a link, he said, between war and outbreaks of deadly contagious diseases. Such outbreaks are difficult to contain, which makes our current global tragedies all the more worrisome.
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