Recently, WHO (the World Health Organization) released its 2019 list of global health threats. Among them, the most significant threats are superbugs and anti-vaxxers, WHO reported. More concerning, if governments don’t take measures to tackle these risks, the lives of millions of people worldwide would be endangered.
Anti-Vaxxers Emerged As A Global Health Threat in 2019
“Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases,” WHO reported.
“Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease — it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved,” the Organization added.
“The reasons for this rise are complex, and not all of these cases are due to vaccine hesitancy. However, some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence,” the WHO report reads.
Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria or Superbugs Are Still Among the Top Global Health Threats
Superbugs are antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and they represent one of the primary threats for health. They are also the leading cause for illnesses contracted from hospitals since superbugs such staphylococcus bacteria developed resistance against both disinfectant and antibiotics. But staph infection is just a small part of the threat.
“Now, time with these drugs [antibiotics] is running out. Antimicrobial resistance – the ability of bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi to resist these medicines – threatens to send us back to a time when we were unable to easily treat infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and salmonellosis,” WHO reported.
“In 2017, around 600,000 cases of tuberculosis were resistant to rifampicin – the most effective first-line drug -, and 82% of these people had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis,” the Organization added.
WHO also considered global warming and air pollution as global health threats in 2019, and recommended the governments around the world to take stricter measures to tackle these risks.