Health officials warn of ‘hidden pandemic’ after Covid

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A covid-19 super variant could be worse than Delta
A covid-19 super variant could be worse than Delta Image: Pixabay

Health officials warn of ‘hidden pandemic’ of infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

Exports are warning that the number of antibiotic-resistant infections could rise dramatically once the Covid pandemic is over if everyone does not act responsibly. According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), a “hidden pandemic” could be on the cards in the future.

Coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions have reportedly caused people’s immunity to common colds to drop.

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Last year is the first time that the number of drug-resistant infections decreased since 2016. The number of infections though is still higher than in 2016.

In 2020 around 20 per cent of people with infections had an antibiotic-resistant infection. Brits are being encouraged by the UKHSA to only take antibiotics when necessary.

The UKHSA’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr Susan Hopkins commented: “AMR (antimicrobial resistance) has been described as a hidden pandemic and it’s important that we do not come out of Covid-19 and enter into another crisis.


“It is likely that Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 including enhanced infection, prevention and control measures also played a part in driving down antibiotic resistance and prescribing.

“While these measures were severe, serious antibiotic-resistant infections will rise once again if we don’t act responsibly and that can be as simple as regular and thorough handwashing.”

She added: “As we head into winter, with increasing amounts of respiratory infections in circulation, it’s important to remember that antibiotics are not needed for many cold-like symptoms.”


Dr Hopkins commented on the risks of taking antibiotics when they are not needed. She advised staying home when feeling unwell and added: “Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them only puts you and your loved ones at more risk in the future so please listen to your GP, nurse, dentist or pharmacist’s advice.”


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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