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Resistant bacteria cost a lot of life and money, warning the OECD


Resistant bacteria cost a lot of life and money, warning the OECD
AFP / Archive

Antibiotic resistant bacteria not only endanger life but also affect health systems: they can result in up to 3.5 billion kronor in annual expenditure by 2050 in each OECD country according to a report released on Wednesday.

"These bacteria are more expensive than flu, AIDS, TB, and they will cost even more if the states do not act to solve this problem," said Michele Cechini, a public health specialist at AFP. OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

According to him, the countries already spend an average of 10 percent of their health budget for the treatment of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

According to forecasts in the report, covering 33 of the 36 OECD countries, resistant bacteria could kill 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia before 2050.

A separate study, published Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases magazine, estimated 33,000 deaths from these bacteria in 2015 in the European Union.

Nevertheless, we can fight them with "easy action" at moderate cost according to the OECD: "Encouraging better hygiene" (by encouraging, for example, washing their hands), "putting an end to antibiotic overcrowding" or generalizing rapid diagnostic tests to determine if An infection is viral (in which case antibiotics are useless) or bacterial.

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

Investments in a major public health program that contain some of these measures can be written off in a year and would lead to savings of $ 4.8 billion a year, says OECD.

The health authorities, which begin with the World Health Organization (WHO), regularly warn about the risk of over-consumption of antibiotics, which makes resistant world-wide bacteria. Children and the elderly are particularly at risk.

"In Brazil, Indonesia and Russia, between 40% and 60% of infections are already resistant, compared to an average of 17% in OECD countries," she says.

Even more worrying, "resistance to antibiotics in the second or third line is expected to be 70% higher in 2030 than 2005". These antibiotics are the ones to be used as a last resort when there is no other solution.

07/11/2018 13:38:40 –
Paris (AFP) –
© 2018 AFP

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