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Health Authorities Warn Super Gastro Bug is on the Rise

Health Authorities Warn Super Gastro Bug is on the Rise

As we consume more and more antibiotics, a new strain of gastro bug has been found in Australia that can't be fought with traditional means of antibiotic treatment.

Health Authorities Warn Super Gastro Bug is on the Rise

Superbugs – bacteria that have mutated to be untreateable with antibiotics – are rapidly spreading and becoming a serious threat to public health the world over.  

Shigella infection (shigellosis) is an intestinal disease caused by a family of bacteria known as shigella. Shigella causes bacterial dysentery and was once associated mainly with children in countries with poor sanitation. However there has been a rise of cases in Australia. 

In fact, there is so much concern that antibiotics are fuelling a resistance to drugs that Victorian health authorities are now warning doctors not to prescribe antibiotics to treat Shigella in almost all cases. Dr Brett Sutton, who is Victoria’s chief health officer, says  “The issue is that a lot of people won’t respond to the first antibiotic they’re given, and so the GPs or other specialists really need to wait and see what the antibiotic resistance profile is before they prescribe, because the resistance is such a problem that we really don’t want to make the problem worse by prescribing antibiotics that aren’t going to work.” 

Antibiotic-resistance is also a top public health threat, according to the World Health Organisation. Over-prescription, poor sanitation and lack of immunisation, as well as frequent travel are all contributing to the spread of deadly superbugs.  The World Health Organisation states antibiotic-resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development, leading to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.

The Organisation has developed five strategic objectives as part of the “Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance”:

  • To improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance.
  • To strengthen surveillance and research.
  • To reduce the incidence of infection.
  • To optimise the use of antimicrobial medicines.
  • To ensure sustainable investment in countering antimicrobial resistance.

Stay on top of your health with our 10 mind-blowing facts about your brain and how to keep it healthy. 

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