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WHO warns of disturbing rates of antimicrobial resistance during COVID-19 pandemic

(Xinhua)    08:43, June 02, 2020

GENEVA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday warned that the world is "losing its ability" to use critically important antimicrobial medicines.

Speaking at a virtual press conference on Monday, the WHO chief said that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased use of antibiotics, which ultimately will lead to higher bacterial resistance rates.

Calling the threat of antimicrobial resistance "one of the most urgent challenges of our time," Tedros urged the world to find new models to incentivize sustainable innovation in this regard.

"On the supply side, there is essentially very little market incentive to developing new antibiotics and antimicrobial agents, which has led to multiple market failures of very promising tools in the past few years," he said.

A press release issued on Monday also showed that high rates of resistance among antimicrobials frequently used to treat common infections, such as urinary tract infections or some forms of diarrhea, indicate that the world is running out of effective ways to tackle these diseases.

"For instance, the rate of resistance to ciprofloxacin, an antimicrobial frequently used to treat urinary tract infections, varied from 8.4 percent to 92.9 percent in 33 reporting countries," the press release noted.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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