| “If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business.”—– Richard Branson
A growing number of our Members have mentioned family or friends (not currently strengthening their immune system with 98alive™) that have developed new infections while hospitalized.
This may be caused by something called ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR).
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists antibiotic resistance as one of the most pressing global threats to human health.
The most serious concern with antibiotic resistance is that some bacteria have become resistant to almost all easily available antibiotics.
Patients are now entering hospital in Australia and overseas, carrying resistant bacteria acquired in the community.
New diseases are appearing that are not killed by antibiotics. Common diseases are becoming stronger.
More and more often the medical community is forced to say to patients, “there is nothing we can do.”
Many scientists believe we are fast approaching the ‘Post-antibiotic ERA’ – a period where our previously reliable antibiotics are no longer dependable in the treatment of infectious diseases. An alarming number of Microorganisms have developed antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics.
In this Post antibiotic ERA, science is urgently questioning what will replace antibiotics in Mankind’s on-going War for Wellness.
What is antimicrobial resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses and parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarial) from working against it.
As a result, standard medical treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others. Health care professionals are left with limited or in some instances, no available treatment options.
While AMR to some extent is a natural phenomenon, certain human actions accelerate this process of increasing resistance. In human health, AMR infections can necessitate additional investigations, more complex and expensive treatments, longer hospital stays and leads to greater mortality.
Estimates of the costs of AMR have largely focused on the increased financial costs of longer hospital stays. However, to accurately predict the potential cost of AMR, estimates also need to take into account other costs, such as the impact that an absence of effective antimicrobials poses for modern medicine. Surgery, intensive care, organ transplants and cancer treatment are only possible with effective antimicrobials.
In animals, AMR infections result in reduced animal health, welfare, bio-security and production outcomes. AMR infections in animals can result in the transfer of resistant bacteria to people who come into contact with them. AMR infections in animals destined for human consumption also pose a risk via food-borne transmission. More information can be found on the Department of Agriculture’s website.
What is being done in Australia to address AMR?
Australia has a range of existing initiatives in both human and animal health to address aspects of AMR. These include regulatory restrictions on the prescription and use of antimicrobials, surveillance activities, hand hygiene and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes, strict requirements to manage pathogen levels along the food production and processing chain, education for prescribers on the judicious use of antibiotics, and research into new products and approaches to prevent and respond to AMR.
While there has been national coordination of some AMR-related activities, the government agrees that there are opportunities to improve coordination across all elements, better integrate efforts to address gaps and ensure a more comprehensive response to AMR in Australia.
How can you protect your family from antimicrobial resistant bacteria?
There are a number of ways you may reduce your risk from antimicrobial resistant bacteria, including:
You can make a difference
Ensure your family and friends are aware of this problem – (A problem that the World Health Organization lists as one of the most pressing threats to human health; A problem for which the Australian government has committed the development of a National AMR strategy, calling AMR ‘an urgent global health priority’) – and share with them the solutions that may reduce their risk.
Victory for Wellness,
CMO – 98 Alive Pty Ltd