Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic could herald a rise in superbugs
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, gray, cultured in the lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/NIAID-RML via AP
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 14, 2020 5:46AM EDT
OTTAWA -- Experts say necessary measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic could be setting Canada back in the battle against superbugs.
They say drug resistant organisms, or superbugs, are just as great a threat as COVID-19, but the consequences will play out on a much longer timeline.
Many of the important things people are doing to fight the virus that causes COVID-19, like copious use of disinfectants and sanitizers and certain treatments, may be making the superbug problem worse.
Microbiologist Dr. Lori Burrows says people using unproven drug therapies to fight the virus, particularly south of the border, is especially troubling as it's not likely to work and could severely impact the effectiveness of certain antibiotics in the future.
The government was set to release this year its pan-Canadian action plan to fight antimicrobial resistance.
Even so, experts say without significant resources to back it up, it will be difficult to stop the superbug problem from spreading.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2020.