World Health Organization Finds Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria are a Global Epidemic

A new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that antibiotic-resistant resistance in bacteria is widespread around the world, presenting significant risk to human populations. The use of antibiotics in conventional animal rearing is identified as one contributor to the problem. Describing potential risk areas, the report calls for a global standardization of assessing and communicating drug-resistant infections. One of the areas of concern is the use of antibiotics in conventional meat production. “Food-producing animals are reservoirs of pathogens with the potential to transfer resistance to humans,” the report states. It concludes noting that action is needed to prevent the increased spread of these diseases. "Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods, and the implications will be devastating," said Keiji Fukuda, head of health security at WHO.