WHO: World Health Organization Warns That Excessive Use Of Antibiotics During COVID-19 Crisis Will Cause More Deaths In Future Due To Resistance
: The World Health Organization warned that increased antibiotics use in combating the COVID-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond.
Director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed concern that a "worrying number" of bacterial infections were becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them.
The international health agency said it was concerned that the inappropriate use of antibiotics during the coronavirus crisis would further fuel the trend.
Tedros said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased use of antibiotics, which ultimately will lead to higher bacterial resistance rates that will impact the burden of disease and deaths during the pandemic and beyond.”
The agency said only a small proportion of COVID-19 patients needed antibiotics to treat subsequent bacterial infections.
The WHO has issued guidance to medics not to provide antibiotic therapy or prophylaxis to patients with mild COVID-19, or to patients with moderate illness without a clinical suspicion of bacterial infection.
The agency said the guidelines said should help tackle antimicrobial resistance while saving lives ad said that the threat of antimicrobial resistance is "one of the most urgent challenges of our time. It's clear that the world is losing its ability to use critically important antimicrobial medicines."
The agency highlighted inappropriate usage, as there was an "overuse" of antibiotics in some countries, while in low-income states; such life-saving medicines were unavailable, "leading to needless suffering and death".
The WHO also said the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) had been severely disrupted since the COVID-19 pandemic began in December, following a survey of 155 countries.
The agency said, "This situation is of significant concern because people living with NCDs are at higher risk of severe COVID-19-related illness and death.”
The health survey, during a three-week period in May, found that low-income countries were most affected.
Apparently some 53 percent of countries reported partially or completely disrupted services for hypertension treatment.
The statistics was 49 percent for diabetes treatment and related complications; 42 percent for cancer treatment, and 31 percent for cardiovascular emergencies.
The common reasons for discontinuing or reducing services were cancellations of planned treatments, a decrease in available public transport and a lack of staff because health workers had been reassigned to COVID-19 treatment.
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