Antibiotic-resistant superbugs have reached “alarming levels” and pose a global threat to public health, the World Health Organization warns in a report issued Wednesday.

“Devastating” consequences from untreatable infections including diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea now pose a potential threat in every corner of the world, to any any person of any age, the WHO states.

The report, “Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance,” is the first from the global body to look at antimicrobial resistance.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” stated Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security.

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“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine,” Fukuda continued. “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.”

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