Why emergency management should be interested in the emergence of antibiotic resistance

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Journal Article
Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 2014, 29 (3), pp. 11 - 15
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Bacterial epidemics and pandemics are biological risks to life every bit as significant as floods, fires, storms and earthquakes. Antibiotics have been a significant tool in the management of epidemics and pandemics (as well as for fighting general infections) since their discovery in the 1930s. Due to the development of antibiotic resistance by bacteria, we are now approaching a post-antibiotic era where our capacity to manage infectious disease, particularly bacterial epidemics and pandemics, is compromised. Despite considerable efforts by global heath organisations, we need new ways of thinking and acting on the global risk of antibiotic resistance. We argue for a rebranding of the issue to one of a disaster risk and suggest the use of the risk management process and expertise of emergency management to present a new way of thinking about this globally significant risk to life.
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