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    How overuse of antibiotics is fueling a silent pandemic of drug-resistant superbug infections

    While the continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, experts warn of an even more formidable foe on the horizon – drug-resistant superbugs. Years of antibiotic overuse and misuse has enabled bacteria to develop resistance to modern medicines at an alarming rate. If left unchecked, drug-resistant infections could potentially cause more deaths worldwide than cancer by 2050.

    Antibiotics have transformed healthcare since their discovery but their overprescription has accelerated the emergence of superbugs. When antibiotics kill sensitive bacteria, it gives resistant strains an opening to thrive. These toughened bacteria then pass on their robust genes. As more drugs lose effectiveness, doctors have fewer treatment options for infections that were previously curable. The threat is particularly concerning in hospitals where antibiotic exposures are high and vulnerable patients are at increased risk.

    Simple solutions could help curb this silent pandemic before it spirals out of control. Only taking antibiotics when prescribed and completing the full course is key to prevent resistance. Personal hygiene basics like handwashing also disrupt transmission. In healthcare settings, improved infection control reduces cross-contamination. Optimal antibiotic use through guidelines and stewardship programs preserves our limited armamentarium for the future.

    If decisive collective action is not taken soon, the post-antibiotic era may arrive with dire consequences. By raising awareness, communities can influence safer antibiotic behaviors. And with continued , new drugs may still outpace the spread of resistance. But we must act with urgency to avoid antimicrobial resistance becoming the next public catastrophe. Small changes today could make all the difference in safeguarding humankind against this emerging superbug crisis.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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