With the arrival of Covid, the floodlights were turned full onto the virus. In the meantime, other “enemies”, just as small and just as dangerous, are lurking, lying in wait: these are the super-bacteria, which have gone from strength to strength until some are practically invincible, almost immune to the antibiotics available today. If germs manage to get the upper hand over medicines, there is a very real risk that all the progress made in the field of medicine over the last century will be annihilated. A C-section, an appendix, even a scratch by the family cat, could become lethal. The authorities have already issued a warning: at this rate, there will be 10 million deaths worldwide by 2050, more than those caused by cancer.
All is not yet lost, however. In this cataclysmic scenario, there is a ray of hope. We are still in time to reverse the situation. But we must do it now and do it together: doctors and patients, producers and consumers, breeders and farmers. Because health is one and one only. It is the most valuable resource we have. A resource that we must protect and conserve, before it is too late.
Fabrizio Pregliasco is professor of Biomedical Sciences for Health at Milan’s La Statale University (Università degli Studi di Milano).
Paola Arosio is a professional journalist, specializing in health care and health issues. She has collaborated with leading Italian daily Corriere della Sera and with Sanità24, the health section of Il Sole 24 Ore. She writes for La Repubblica and various periodicals.