- STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- One
in 10 patients entering a European hospital can expect to catch an infection
there and drug-resistant microbes caught through healthcare are a rapidly
growing threat, EU health officials said on Thursday.
- The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
(ECDC) said in a report that every year some 3 million people in European
Union countries catch a disease associated with healthcare and that around
50,000 die as a result.
- "This report shows that healthcare associated infections
have become a major issue of concern in the EU, with many of these caused
by new or emerging drug resistant microbes," commented Markos Kyprianou,
European Commissioner for Health.
- "It is unacceptable to me that one in every ten
patients entering hospital in the EU will catch an infection there."
- The Stockholm-based ECDC said a key reason for the rising
number of drug-resistant bacteria was the large amount of antibiotics being
used, which encourages resistant strains to emerge.
- "If the current rise in drug resistance among microbes
is not halted, mankind will lose one of its most important weapons against
infectious diseases," it said in the report based on European data
gathered in 2005.
- It was the first ever European epidemiologic report on
communicable diseases in the European Union.
- The ECDC said that while EU states had generally been
successful in preventing infectious diseases -- with most diseases stable
or in decline over the past decade and with for example polio eliminated
-- there was no room for complacency.
- "The majority of deaths in the EU countries are
caused by non-infectious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. That
said, the threat posed by infections cannot be underestimated," it
- The ECDC said key areas of concern in addition to the
healthcare-related diseases were rising rates of HIV along with a continued
threat from tuberculosis, influenza and pneumococcal infections. It said
drug resistance had become a major problem in diseases such as HIV and
- ECDC director Zsuzsanna Jakob told a news conference
that EU members need to work together more closely.
- "We need better and more comparable data at the
EU level which means that we need to further strengthen the European surveillance
systems and also the preparedness," she said.
- "We need to further develop our knowledge where
gaps exist. We need to identify and share good practices in prevention
and control programs."
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Univ of West Indies
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- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health