Drug resistance today poses a bigger danger worldwide than did AIDS in the 1980s, the World Health Organization says in a dire-sounding report out today: "Without urgent, coordinated action, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill," says a top official. Indeed, we could see a world where a child's fall from a bike could mean a "fatal infection," another WHO doctor tells the Telegraph.
"This serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future—it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country," the organization says in a press release. In many countries, for instance, E. coli treatments are powerless in more than half of patients, the AP reports. The report examined resistance in the germs behind illnesses like pneumonia and urinary tract infections; the Telegraph cites routine surgery and common bladder infections in retirement homes as possible dangers of the future. Governments, an expert says, must step up: "The world needs to respond as it did to the AIDS crisis of the '80s."