Four Corners - Rise of the Superbugs
Antibiotics are the wonder drugs of modern medicine. They've allowed doctors to save and extend life by killing infection and enabling ground breaking surgery. But imagine a world where antibiotics don't work - that would be a place dominated by superbugs, bacteria that don't respond to antibiotics. Scientists say this would end many modern medical procedures and they claim the threat is greater than we realise.
Reporter Geoff Thompson looks at the rise of superbugs, visiting the hot spots around the world where the misuse of antibiotics is creating a breeding ground for these bacteria and he tells the horrific stories of those who've contracted infections that can't be controlled. He also reveals that Australian health officials are making decisions that could open the way for a deadly superbug to infect Australians living in the far north of the country.
And that's exactly what's happening in India, where antibiotics are not restricted in their use. As a result a new superbug, New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase or NDM-1, has evolved. Not only is it deadly in its own right, it's also capable of genetically modifying other bacteria to make them superbugs.
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