- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Chinese ministry, WHO warn of antibiotic overuse
BEIJING (AP) - Drug-resistant forms of diseases such as tuberculosis are on the rise in China because of the overuse of antibiotics, the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization warned Thursday, saying urgent action was needed to reverse the problem.
Vice Health Minister Ma Xiaowei said at a ceremony to mark World Health Day that he hoped hospitals would push for antibiotics to be used in “scientific and rational” ways.
About 6.8 percent of tuberculosis cases in China are multiple-drug resistant, far higher than the 2 percent rate in most developed countries, said Dr. Michael O'Leary, the WHO’s representative in China.
Antibiotics can spur infection-causing bacteria to become drug-resistant if they are overused. Drug-resistant tuberculosis can also arise when people take substandard medicines, a common problem in China. It takes longer to treat than regular TB and requires more expensive drugs, which also cause bad side effects such as liver damage.
“Infections caused by resistant microorganisms often fail to respond to conventional treatment, resulting in prolonged illness and greater risk of death,” O'Leary said.
He said that action was needed now because replacement drugs cannot be developed fast enough to replace the drugs that have lost their effectiveness.
A WHO statement said about 440,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis emerge around the world each year, causing at least 150,000 deaths.
The overuse of antibiotics is very common in China, often because it is a way for hospitals to boost revenue.
Antibiotics are also misused in the food industry, showing up in diverse parts of the food chain from farmed fish to honey.
Dr. Fabiola Scano, a WHO medical officer with the TB program in China, said 50 percent of antibiotics used globally are misused on animals in food production. Scano said there’s evidence that “the more antibiotics are used, the higher is the antibiotic resistance in humans.”
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again