Antibiotic abuse: the nightmare scenario…

A new radio drama by Val McDermid highlights the worrying prospect of antibiotic resistance becoming a global epidemic.

Imagine a world in which even the slightest scratch could be lethal. Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, and organ transplants are no longer possible. Even simple surgery is too risky to contemplate, while epidemics triggered by deadly bacteria have left our health services helpless.

It is science fiction, of course – but only just. According to many doctors and scientists, the rise of antibiotic resistance across the planet could soon make this grim scenario a reality. And if it does, humans will have to face up to challenges that would once have seemed unthinkable. The question is: when – and how – might this horrific medical ordeal unfold for the human race?

We face returning to a time when every form of surgery was life-threatening

It is a question that crime writer Val McDermid will attempt to answer next month in an unusual way – in a three-part radio drama, Resistance, which is to be aired on Radio 4. In it she will put dramatic flesh on scientific warnings of the hazards we now face because of our past misuse of antibiotics.

“We are looking down a barrel, into a world that was like the one we had when there were no antibiotics,” says McDermid. “We face returning to a time when every form of surgery was life-threatening, because every form of surgery carries with it the danger of infections. Even going to the dentist to have a tooth out will have risks involved.”

Read the full article on the Guardian website…

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