Australian health authorities are warning the world faces a post-antibiotic era where simple childhood illnesses could again become deadly.
The death of a woman in the United States in January from an infection that could not be treated by any antibiotics has left Australian health experts “deeply alarmed”.
In a strongly worded editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia, president of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Professor Cheryl Jones, said the woman’s death “may herald a post-antibiotic era in which high-level antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is widespread, meaning that common pathogens will be untreatable”.
She said if that happened, all areas of healthcare would be affected.
Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the world.