World Health Organization, Antibiotics, Deanna Lites, Beaumont Hospital

DETROIT (WWJ) — If you get an infection you’re often prescribed an antibiotic, but could we be running out of these powerful medicines?

A report from the World Health Organization states that we are in fact running out of antibiotics. According to the report not enough new antibiotics are being developed, which is concerning since some of the bacteria causing infections are resistant to our current medications.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said in the report. “There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections including TB, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery.”

WWJ Newsradio 950 health reporter Deanna Lites caught up with Beaumont Hospital infectious disease expert Dr. Matthew Sims on the possibility of antibiotics shortages, and he says this latest report is no surprise to him.

“We’ve been running out of antibiotics for quite a while actually,” Sims said.

According to the report, there are 51 new antibiotics and biologicals in clinical development but only eight of those are considered by the World Health Organization “as innovative treatments that will add value to the current antibiotic treatment arsenal.”

With there not being enough new antibiotics being created, local doctors have already noticed this shortage. Sims said he’s already dealt with this issue firsthand and is worried about the future.

“I’m sort of the local expert on antibiotics resistance, (and) just yesterday I got called for a patient with an infection and we just don’t have any antibiotics for it,” Sims said.

To reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance prevent infections by practicing good hand hygiene and getting recommended vaccines. Also, if you need an antibiotic take it exactly as prescribed.

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