Covid-19 offered the general public a quick and devastating lesson on the threat of infectious diseases. But as an infectious disease physician, I’ve worried about pandemics for quite some time.
In fact, the world is already facing a collection of different pathogens that could result in even worse outcomes. This threat could claim 10 million lives each year, according to the United Nations. That’s over COVID-19’s global death toll so far.
Scientists are aware that we’re at a critical point in our response — and they’re trying to take action to stop further escalation. But they lack adequate funding to do so. Millions of lives could depend on Congress acting quickly to ensure researchers have enough resources to win this battle.
This deadly crisis stems from a growing number of drug-resistant bacteria and fungi. Because they’re often called “superbugs,” these pathogens may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie. But they’re very real. And they’re evolving and becoming invulnerable to the antibiotics that we usually use to treat everything from pneumonia to urinary tract infections.
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