Superbugs Will Kill 10 Million a Year by 2050

Zack Budryk | Fierce Healthcare | May 19, 2016

Healthcare experts have long warned drug-resistant superbugs are a "looming global threat," but left unchecked, they may kill someone every three seconds by 2050, according to a new report. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance began in 2014 and in the meantime, antibiotic-resistant infections have already wrought havoc, causing several outbreaks linked to contaminated scopes and proving potentially more deadly than cancer, according to experts.

E. coli Bacteria. Credit - NIAID/flickr CC BY 2.0Models by researchers at Rand Europe and KPMG now predict the infections will kill 10 million people a year by mid-century at a cost of $100 trillion, with drug-resistant strains of malaria, tuberculosis and E. coli taking the steepest toll. To stave off this scenario, study authors call on health leaders and policymakers to take numerous precautions, including:

  • A global campaign to raise awareness of the threat, including country-level restrictions on the sale of antibiotics without prescriptions
  • Improved hygiene to safeguard against infections, particularly among low- and middle-income nations, which must factor the threat into sanitation and water infrastructure
  • Less unnecessary microbial use in agriculture, aided by improved transparency by retailers and food producers...