NHS patients are being urged to stop nagging GPs for antibiotics and to simply rest at home as overuse is causing at least 5,000 deaths a year due to the drugs no longer being effective.
Four in 10 patients with an E.coli blood infection cannot be treated with the most commonly used antibiotics, according to a report from Public Health England (PHE).
The report recommends people suffering from coughs, sore throats and ear aches simply go home to rest rather than seeking medical treatment.
Professor Paul Cosford, medical director at PHE, said: ‘Antibiotic resistance is not a distant threat, but is in fact one of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today.’
Dr Chris Van Tulleken, an infectious diseases doctor at University College London Hospitals, said: ‘As an infectious diseases doctor, I see first-hand what happens if antibiotics don’t work – and it’s scary.’
This comes after experts around the world warned of an upcoming ‘post-antibiotic apocalypse’ where, in as little as 30 years time, resistance kills more people than cancer and diabetes combined.