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Antibiotic resistance imposes serious threats to public health | Updated: 2014-05-05 14:10

Antibiotic resistance taking place in every region of the world has imposed serious threats to public health, according to a new global report launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.

The report focuses on antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common and serious diseases such as bloodstream infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhea.

It said resistance to antibiotics, when bacteria no longer work in people who need them to treat infections, was occurring across many different infectious agents in all regions of the world.

"Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, 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," Keiji Fukuda, WHO's assistant director general, said in a statement.

Despite some countries having taken important steps in addressing the problem, WHO warned every country and individual needed to do more.

The UN health body said the situation should be tackled through the prevention of infections, better hygiene, access to clean water, infection control in health-care facilities and vaccinations.

WHO recommended that health workers and pharmacists prescribe and dispense antibiotics to patients only when truly needed. It added policymakers should strengthen resistance tracking and laboratory capacity, as well as regulate appropriate use of medicines.

WHO is also calling attention to the need to develop new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools to allow healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.

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