Antimicrobial resistance is when disease causing microbes change over time and become resistant to medication. This means that antimicrobial medicines become ineffective against infections. Infections then become very difficult or even impossible to treat. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest global health threats.
Microbes, Pathogens, Infections and Antimicrobial Medicines
Microbes, or microorganisms, are very small living things. They include bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, that exist all around, on and in us. Some of them are important for our survival, while others can make cause disease. Those that can cause disease are referred to as pathogens. Infection is when pathogens enter and multiply in the body. Infection can then cause disease.
Antimicrobial medicines used to prevent or treat infections. These include antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic medicines.
The Threat Of Antimicrobial Resistance
Microbes naturally change over time, and can become resistant to the medications used against them. This change is accelerated by overuse or incorrect use of antimicrobial medicine. For example, antibiotics have often been prescribed when not needed. Microbes that have become resistant to medications are often called superbugs because of their ability to resist treatment.
If antimicrobial medicines lose their effectiveness, we will not be able to treat infections. Disease caused by infections will kill millions of people around the world. The greatest concern is that a new microbe will emerge that is resistant to all current medications.
Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance
Carefully controlling the use of antimicrobial medicines around the world would slow the development of drug resistance in microbes. In 2016, the NHS launched a campaign to combat the over use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are no longer routinely prescribed by the NHS to treat infections. Additional research funding may also allow the development of new antimicrobial medicines.
Of course, these are things that as individuals we have little influence over national and international policies. We can, however, ensure that we are not taking medications when not necessary. When prescribed any medication, in particular antimicrobial medications, ensure that you take it as instructed by the doctor.
Prepping To Survive Antimicrobial Resistance
If a superbug emerges that is resistant to all medications, it will cause a global pandemic far worse than Covid-19. A pandemic caused by a totally drug-resistant superbug will kill many millions of people as it travels around the world. It will probably lead to the collapse of society as people try to survive.
The only way to survive a superbug pandemic is to avoid being infected. Be ready to shelter securely and safely for a very long period of time.
A long term survival plan should include:
- Enough bottled water stored at home to last for at least a few days.
- The ability to obtain and purify enough water for drinking and hygiene.
- A supply of long lasting foods, for at least 6 months and ideally longer.
- The ability to become totally self sufficient before you run out of stored food.
- World Health Organisation Antimicrobial Resistance Fact Sheet
- Microbiology Society
- NHS News Antibiotic Overusage
- NHS Antibiotic Antimicrobial Resistance
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