Srinagar, Aug 09: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday said curbing air pollution could reduce deaths from antibiotic resistance.
“Controlling air pollution could play a major role in combating the rise and spread of antibiotic-resistant bugs,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Hassan said according to a new study published in Lancet on Monday, air pollution was found to be a significant contributor to the rise of antibiotic resistance.
Researchers have found that air pollutants harbour antibiotic resistant bacteria and resistant genes which can be transferred between environments and inhaled directly by humans.
He said antibiotic resistance resulting from air pollution was responsible for an estimated 480,000 premature deaths in 2018 globally.
“And if no action on air pollution is taken, the annual premature death toll linked to antibiotic resistance could rise to an estimated 840,000 by 2050,” he added.
The DAK President said while the main drivers of antibiotic resistance are still the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, the problem is being worsened by toxic air.
He said the air quality in Kashmir has been constantly deteriorating for the past few years due to the increasing number of vehicles, constructions, brick kilns, cement and other factories which emit pollutants and significantly pollute the air.
“And this could be contributing to the unprecedented levels of antibiotic resistance which is killing people in the valley,” he said.
“People are dying from common, previously treatable infections, because the bacteria that cause them have become resistant to antibiotics,” said Dr Nisar.
“If antibiotic resistance continues to rise unchecked, minor infections could become life-threatening, serious infections could become impossible to treat and many routine medical procedures could become too risky to perform,” he said.