The World Health Organisation has surveyed the growth of antibiotic-resistant germs around the world - the first such survey it has ever conducted - and come up with disturbing findings. In a report issued late last month, the organisation found that antimicrobial resistance in bacteria (the main focus of the report), fungi, viruses and parasites is an increasingly serious threat in every part of the world. "A problem so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine," the organisation said. "A post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can kill, far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century."
The growth of antibiotic-resistant pathogens means that in ever more cases, standard treatments no longer work, infections are harder or impossible to control, the risk of spreading infections to others is increased, and illnesses and hospital stays are prolonged.