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Nation & World

VIDEO: Are We Headed Toward A Post-Antibiotic World?

A woman in Nevada dies from a bacterial infection that was resistant to 26 different antibiotics. A U.K. patient contracts a case of multidrug-resistant gonorrhea never seen before. A typhoid superbug kills hundreds in Pakistan. These stories from recent years — and many others — raise fears about the possibility of a post-antibiotic world.

The development of antibiotics in the early 20th century was one of the greatest leaps forward of modern medicine. Suddenly, common illnesses like pneumonia, strep throat and gonorrhea were no longer potential death sentences.

But even in the infancy of antibiotics, it was clear that their misuse and overuse could lead to antibiotic resistance and eventually create untreatable superbugs.

In this video, we explain how antibiotic resistance happens — and what we can do to avoid living in a post-antibiotic world.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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