Monday, September 01, 2014
India - Superbug Time Bomb
India is the worst but it's not alone. All of the emerging economic superpowers share the same problem - the abuse of antibiotics.
For India, it's the result of a population coming into new wealth that still has just one doctor for every 1,700 people. You get sick, you get pills, off you go. Too often those pills are antibiotic.
Together with India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa account for 76% of the global increase in antibiotic use.
If the warnings we get from our medical establishment are accurate, these countries and their societies could be heading for real trouble. This has the makings of a "perfect storm" - inadequate health care infrastructure, antibiotic abuse, the rise of antibiotic-resistant diseases and all the health impacts of climate change including a critical shortage of freshwater for sanitation and personal hygiene as well as pest and disease migration.
And, of course, given our globalized economy, we're hardly immune to what happens on the other side of the Earth. If you don't understand this, take a look at the Spanish Flu of 1918, where it originated (it wasn't Spain) and how it spread around the globe. Then remember back then we didn't have 7.6-million air passengers hopping around the world daily.