Australian Chief Scientist: Act Now, or Expect Deadly 'Post-Antibiotics Era'

Liat Clark | Wired | July 12, 2013

In the latest warning that antibiotics resistance is nearing dangerous levels in modern populations, Australia's chief scientist has issued a stark warning that if we don't invest in combatting it now, sore throats and other minor infections could one day be deadly.

His calls echo those of the UK's own chief medical officer Sally Davies, who in May appealed to the World Health Assembly for international action targeting the problem. Davies announced that the UK government would publish a five-year strategy this summer, but that the problem will not be defeated "unless we get coordinated, international action".

"If we don't take action, in 20 years' time we could be back in the 19th century where infections kill us as a result of routine operations," she said. The words of Ian Chubb, Australia's chief scientist, echoed this statement, saying that the "miracle drugs of modern medicine" now face bacteria that are already "developing resistance to antibiotics at an alarming pace"...