Antibiotics crisis is an understatement – it’s an all-out world-wide calamity.
“One of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today,” says Professor Paul Cosford, medical director at Public Health England.
But he’s not telling us why.
Antibiotic resistance is the impending threat he refers to – and he’s not wrong.
Ramping up fast is the failure of ALL antibiotics to halt infections caused by bacteria – and with it, the complete collapse of modern medicine.
According to England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, without antibiotics minor infections become deadly – while surgery, chemotherapy and caesareans simply become too dangerous.
Wake up, world!
It’s a little late to be surprised. Since antibiotics were first discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, we’ve known that sooner or later bacteria would develop immunity.
Bacteria are the world’s hardiest survivors – and imagining that we would be safe from them with antibiotics was always going to be wishful thinking.
Over billions of years, bacteria have learnt to survive freezing, boiling, living without oxygen or water, in acid or alkaline environments, in light or pitch darkness. What makes us think we can succeed where the elements haven’t?
The track record is not good. So far, we’ve been lucky if an antibiotic succeeds for more than 10 years. A few examples:
- Tetracycline introduced 1950, resistance identified 1959.
- Erythromycin introduced 1953, resistance identified 1968.
- Methicillin introduced 1960, resistance identified 1962.
- Gentamycin introduced 1967, resistance identified 1979.
- Vancomycin introduced 1972, resistance identified 1988.
- Ceftazidime introduced 1985, resistance identified 1987.
- Levofloxacin introduced 1996, resistance identified THE SAME YEAR.
- Ceftaroline introduced 2010, resistance identified 2011.
Which is why medics are jumping up and down about overuse accelerating this resistance – putting the brakes on the public demanding our Twenty-First Century miracle cure. Because as many as 25% of all antibiotic prescriptions are totally unnecessary.
Tip of the iceberg
But that’s not the real problem, or even the beginning of it.
It’s antibiotics’ amazing side effect we’re turning our backs on. And already it makes the whole resistance issue look like a sideshow.
Ever since antibiotics started being used, researchers noted their extraordinary ability to promote growth. Bodies grew quicker, bulked up heavier, super-developing in months instead of years.
They didn’t need a full strength dose either – the kind to clobber an infection. A little and often was enough, a regular under-dose to start the growth spurt and keep it going.
Don’t believe it? Then ask yourself what’s the real reason two thirds of us are overweight or obese – and a third of our kids too? Animals get antibiotics, we eat them, we bulk up same as they do.
Wholesale overuse worldwide
Today 280,000 TONNES of antibiotics are pumped into farming animals around the world. Supposedly restricted to comply with overuse regulations. But actually a necessity to sustain the explosion of world human population.
From 2½ billion in the 1950s when antibiotics began to be used in any volume, to the 7½ billion we are today. Essential to produce the the 19 billion chickens, 1.4 billion cattle, 1 billion pigs and 1 billion sheep that currently feed us.
Modern factory farm methods are so concentrated and so intense that animals literally live on top of each other. Crowded, living in each other’s filth, conditions are so unhygienic that antibiotics really are essential for survival. On top of the growth boosting function they’re already administered for.
And guess what?
Antibiotics are starting to fail for farm animals too. They HAVE to be used to keep up numbers, but fight a losing battle against increasing antimicrobial resistance.
End of the world coming
Which means it’s going to happen.
One day soon, animals will start to die. Penned into slum-like conditions with no protection, an epidemic that will sweep through them like wildfire.
Containing it will be impossible, because there’ll be no defence. The antibiotics won’t work, so things can only go one way.
Which means wholesale animal deaths worldwide.
And the end of the food supply that sustains the extra 5 billion people that we have become since antibiotics enabled such huge production capability.
Two thirds of the world population.
Because bacteria always win.
Because we’re too stupid to realise that defence against them is a moving target, that they will always evolve to find a way round.
We’re all going to die
And that by the time we wake up to that fact, we’ll be dead.
Antibiotics crisis is right. And that’s what Public Health England aren’t telling us.
It really could be the end of the world.