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01.11.17

Welsh hospitals making huge progress in tackling superbugs

Deaths involving superbugs in Wales have hit a 15-year low according to the Office of National Statistic (ONS).

MRSA, C. difficile and staphylococcus aureus were all recorded at lower levels, with MRSA deaths at their lowest in the last 22 years.

The figures show that increased knowledge and care in hospitals have helped to counter these diseases – which can spread at an alarming rate within medical facilities.

Superbugs are strains of bacteria which have developed resistance to antibiotics and there are fears in the medical community that overuse of these medications could cause a rise in superbug epidemics.

Public Health England recently called on patients to stop asking doctors for antibiotics and just wait out minor problems such as coughs or throat infections which would probably get better relatively quickly on their own.

Medical bosses are concerned that, by 2050, there could be more people dying of resistant superbugs than cancer. However, in some cases, such as sepsis and bacterial meningitis, antibiotics can be a vital tool in treating patients.

An estimated 5,000 people each year die as a result of drug-resistant infections, and England’s chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has previously warned of a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” when common diseases gain resistance.

This week’s report from Wales shows that superbugs can be prevented – at least in the short-term – by careful planning and dedicated anti-infection programmes.

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