Sabrina Tavernise reportss in the New York Times,
World leaders agreed Wednesday on steps to curb the rapid rise of drug resistance, the first global effort to stop the spread of dangerous superbugs that are fast becoming immune to many of the most critical medicines.
Infectious disease doctors have long warned that overuse of antibiotics in people and in animals puts human health at risk by reducing the power of the drugs, some of modern medicine’s most prized jewels. The problem is global, because the bugs are mobile. Overuse in pig production in China, for example, has spawned superbugs that have surfaced in the United States and Europe.
The numbers are sobering. Jim O’Neil, chairman of the British review on antimicrobial resistance, estimates that 700,000 people a year die from drug-resistant infections. In the United States, about two million people fall ill from drug-resistant bacteria every year and at least 23,000 die from those infections.
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