A report released by World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated some shocking facts. According to it, antibiotics that are currently in clinical development are insufficient to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical phase are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. There are, however, very few potential treatment options. The growing resistant infections pose the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) which kills around 250,000 people each year.
There are also very few oral antibiotics in the pipeline, yet these are essential formulations for treating infections outside hospitals or in resource-limited settings, the report said.
"Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardise progress in modern medicine," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections including TB, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery," Ghebreyesus added.
Besides TB, the WHO has also identified 12 classes of priority pathogens - including common infections like pneumonia or urinary tract infections - that are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics and urgently in need of new treatments.
Long term antibiotic usage will make the disease drug resistant; Photo Credit: iStock
Among the newly identified 51 new antibiotics and biologicals in clinical development, only eight are classed by WHO as innovative treatments that will add value to the current antibiotic treatment arsenal, it said.
"Pharmaceutical companies and researchers must urgently focus on new antibiotics against certain types of extremely serious infections that can kill patients in a matter of days because we have no line of defence," noted Suzanne Hill, Director of the Department of Essential Medicines at WHO.
To keep ourselves protected this flu season, what we can probably start doing is to boost our immunity with natural ingredients through our diet. Here are some immunity boosting foods -
Broth-based soup: Chicken noodle soup can actually help soothe a cold and boost immunity. The chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus in the lungs, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration and fight inflammation in the throat.
Soups help to prevent dehydration and fight inflammation in the throat
Hot beverages: Warm liquids work wonders for sore throat and alleviate congestion, so drinks like freshly-green tea, which is rich in infection-fighting antioxidants and supports the immune system, or hot water with lemon are ideal for staying hydrated while helping out that stuffy nose.
Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits might not cure you completely, but the soft white layer of skin found on oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes does contain flavonoids, which can help boost the immune system and are great for speeding recovery.
Citrus fruits are loaded with flavonoids
Spicy food items: They can make our noses runny and eyes watery, but they're also effective natural decongestants. Eating chili peppers or horseradish can help relieve the symptoms of congestion.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a yellow coloured and warm spice that comes from the root of the Curcuma plant. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that helps boost immunity. Add it to your food or have haldi doodh every night.