Technician Carolyn Johnson uses monoclonal antibodies to confirm E. coli O157:H7 presence in cattle fecal samples. (USDA photo by Keith Weller)

World Leaders Take Part in Crisis Simulation of Superbug Pandemic

The governments of the UK and Argentina led on the exercise to test G20 world leaders on how they would tackle the spread of an infection that is resistant to antibiotics.

The crisis simulation put ministers in a fictional scenario where an E. Coli outbreak that is resistant to antibiotics spreads across borders, putting public health, livestock, trade and travel at risk. The exercise took place Thursday at the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in Mar del Plata Argentina.

The simulation test leaders’ and countries’ ability to act quickly if antibiotic resistant bugs cross borders and lead to a pandemic affecting global public health, placing pressure on health systems and the economies of the fictional countries involved. It was led by Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Dame Sally Davies and Argentine journalist Dr Nelson Castro.

The exercise raised awareness and understanding of the key challenges of AMR, and encouraged G20 ministers to ensure countries are doing everything they can in the global fight against superbugs.

The aim is to help governments across the world confront difficult issues around reducing antibiotic resistant bugs, including how to reduce the overuse of antimicrobial drugs, while making sure patients who need them have access to them.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a natural phenomenon where microbes evolve to be able to resist the actions of drugs, making them ineffective.

The process is being accelerated by humans through the inappropriate use and misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. The biggest threat posed by the spread of AMR is losing modern medicine and an increase in deaths worldwide. It is therefore vital governments work together to minimize the impact of AMR around the world.

Read more at Gov.UK

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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