Resistant bacteria cost many lives and money, warns the OECD

Paris – Antibiotic-resistant bacteria not only endanger life, they also weigh on health care systems: they could lead to $ 3.5 billion in annual spending by 2050 in each OECD country, according to a report published Wednesday .

"These bacteria are more expensive than the influence of AIDS compared to tuberculosis. And they cost even more if the states do not act to solve this problemMichele Cechini, a specialist in public health at the OECD (Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development), has declared to the AFP.

According to him, countries already allocate an average of 10% of their health budget to the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

According to the report's projections, involving 33 of the 36 OECD countries, resistant bacteria could kill 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia by 2050.

A separate study, published Monday in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated 33,000 deaths from these bacteria in 2015 in the European Union.

Yet we could fight them with "simple measures"at moderate costs, according to the OECD:"encourage better hygiene"(encouraging, for example, to wash their hands),"end the over-prescription of antibiotics"or generalize rapid diagnostic tests to determine if an infection is viral (in which case antibiotics are useless) or bacterial.

According to the OECD, these measures would cost only $ 2 per person per year and would prevent three-quarters of deaths.

"Investments in a large public health program that includes some of these measures could be amortized over a year and would result in savings of $ 4.8 billion a year", judges the OECD.

Health authorities, starting with the World Health Organization (WHO), regularly warn against the risk of excessive consumption of antibiotics, which makes bacteria resistant and resistant. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk.

"In Brazil, Indonesia and Russia, between 40 and 60% of infections are already resistant, compared to an average of 17% in OECD countries", underlines the second.


Even more worrying, "second- or third-line antibiotic resistance should be 70% higher in 2030 compared to 2005These antibiotics are, however, those that should be used as a last resort, when there is no other solution.

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