WHO Sounds Alarm On Widespread 'Superbug' Infections

Kim Painter | USA Today | April 30, 2014

Disease-causing bacteria that resist antibiotic treatment are now widespread in every part of the world and have reached "alarming levels" in many areas, says the first global report on the issue from the World Health Organization.

"The problem is so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine," says the report released Wednesday. "A post-antibiotic era – in which common infections and minor injuries can kill – is a very real possibility for the 21st century."

The report focuses on several types of bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as bloodstream infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhea. Thanks in part to antibiotic overuse and the dearth of new drugs, some bugs that were once easily curable now resist even the latest, most powerful antibiotics, the report says. That's because the bugs are always evolving even when the medicines are not.