[WORLD NEWS ★★]
ARE WE ENTERING THE POST-ANTIBIOTIC ERA?
(P1) The world is ON THE CUSP OF a “POST-ANTIBIOTIC era”, scientists have warned after finding BACTERIA that are RESISTANT to drugs used when all other TREATMENTS have failed.
(P2) They identified bacteria able to resist the drug of LAST RESORT – colistin – in patients and LIVESTOCK in China.
(P3) They said that this antibiotic resistance would spread around the world.
(P4) It is likely that resistance EMERGED after colistin was OVERUSED in farm animals.
(P5) The possibility of bacteria becoming completely resistant is known as the antibiotic APOCALYPSE and could destroy many modern medical advances.
(P6) Common INFECTIONS would kill many patients, while SURGERY and cancer THERAPIES, which are RELIANT on antibiotics, would be THREATENED.
(P7) Chinese scientists identified a new MUTATION, called the MCR-1 gene, which prevents colistin from killing bacteria.
(P8) Professor Timothy Walsh from the University of Cardiff said: “All the key players are now in place to make the post-antibiotic world a reality.
(P9) “If MCR-1 becomes global, which is INEVITABLE, then we will have very likely reached the start of the post-antibiotic era.
(P10) “At that point if a patient is seriously ill, say with E. coli, then there is nothing you can do.”
(P11) Professor Mark Wilcox from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals said that the antibiotic apocalypse had begun, and it was clear “we’re losing the battle”.
(P12) Wilcox said: “Do I fear we’ll soon have diseases that can’t be treated by antibiotics? I do.
(P13) “Whether that happens this year, or next year, or the year after, it’s very hard to say.”
(P14) Professor Laura Piddock, from the group Antibiotic Action, said the same antibiotics “should not be used in VETERINARY and human medicine,” in order to MINIMIZE the possibility of resistances developing.
(P15) She said: “Hopefully the post-antibiotic era is not upon us yet. However, this is a WAKE-UP CALL to the world.”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Have you ever been treated with antibiotics?
- Are you afraid of doctors and hospitals, or pretty relaxed about them?
- Have there been any HEALTH SCARES in your country recently?
- Why are surgeries and cancer therapies dependent on the use of antibiotics?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- On the cusp of
- Last resort
- Wake-up call
- Health scare