It is estimated that more than 90,000 Britons will die from bugs that are resistant to antibiotics over the next three decades.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned that superinfections will kill around 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia by 2050, unless antibiotics resistance is limited.

This includes around 1.3 million deaths across Europe.

The report estimates that 90,045 Britons will die from infection-resistant infections over the next 30 years.

Simple measures such as hand washing and careful prescriptions of antibiotics could avert some of the deaths, the authors said.

Improving hygiene, stopping over-prescribing antibiotics, and improving patients' rapid tests to make sure they get the right medication are some of the measures that could overcome the threat, the OECD said.

Three out of four deaths could be averted by spending just two dollars (£ 1.50) per person per year, the OECD calculates.

A short-term investment would save money in the long term, she added, saying that dealing with antimicrobial resistance complications could cost on average up to $ 3.5 billion a year in the 33 countries studied.

The resistance is already high and is expected to grow even faster in low- and middle-income countries.

Further evidence that investing in coping with the problem will now save lives and bring great benefits in the future
Tim jinks

The report warns that southern Europe could be particularly affected. Italy, Greece and Portugal forecast to lead the list of OECD countries with the highest mortality rates due to antimicrobial resistance.

He adds that resistance to second- and third-line antibiotics – which are used as a backup to treat infections when ordinary antibiotics are not effective – is expected to grow over the coming decades.

The report comes after health officials in England have launched a campaign to prevent people from asking for drugs when they do not need them.

Public Health England said antibiotics are essential for the treatment of severe bacterial infections, but the drugs are commonly used to treat cough, sore throats and earache, which are usually better with no medications.

The recent campaign by the Health Authority reminds people that antibiotics are not always needed when they feel unwell.

Tim Jinks, head of Wellcome Trust's Drug-Resistant Infections Priority Program, said, "This new OECD report provides important insights into how simple, cost-effective surveillance, prevention and control methods can save lives worldwide.

"Drug-resistant superbugs are on the rise worldwide, posing a fundamental threat to global health and development. This report provides further evidence that investing in coping with the problem will now save lives and bring great benefits in the future. "



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