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Resistance to our current range of antibiotics is the new inconvenient truth. If we don't act now, we risk the health of our parents, our children and our grandchildren.
Antibiotics add, on average, twenty years to our lives. For over seventy years, since the manufacture of penicillin in 1943, we have survived extraordinary operations and life-threatening infections. We are so familiar with these wonder drugs that we take them for granted. The truth is that we have been abusing them: as patients; as doctors; as travellers, in our food.
No new class of antibacterial has been discovered for twenty-six years and the bugs are fighting back. If we do not take responsibility now, in a few decades we may start dying from the most commonplace of operations and ailments that can today be treated easily.
This Penguin Special, by Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, is vital in raising awareness for the future helath of our children and our grandchildren.
About the Author
Professor Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer for England. She is a haematologist with specialist research interest in sickle cell disease. But in her advisory post she guides government decisions on diverse subjects such as superbugs, drug trials and obesity. She developed the National Institute for Health Research in 2006 with a budget of GBP1 billion. She is an Emeritus Professor at Imperial College.
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