For the past eight months, the world’s attention has been focused on the deadly health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already infected 30 million people and killed more than 950,000.
But in his gripping, highly readable new book, Biography of Resistance: The Epic Battle Between People and Pathogens (Harper Wave, 2020), Muhammad Zaman, a Boston University College of Engineering professor of biomedical engineering and of materials science and engineering, says there is an equally urgent crisis before us—drug-resistant infections.
More than 700,000 people die each year as a result of multidrug-resistant diseases, including at least 35,000 in the United States. And as Zaman, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, makes clear, the situation is getting more urgent. Without action, he writes, we are likely to face an unimaginable public health crisis: “It will be like the great plague of the Middle Ages, the influenza pandemic of 1918, the AIDS crisis of the 1990s, and the Ebola epidemic of 2014 all combined into a single threat.” A 2019 report issued by the United Nations Ad Hoc Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance predicts that drug-resistant diseases could claim as many as 10 million lives a year by 2050.
Read the full article on BU Today.