The number of antibiotic resistant infections has risen, health experts have warned.
More than 25,000 people die every year in the EU of bacterial infections that cannot be beaten by antibiotics, and now the World Health Organisation (WHO) fears the problem has now reached crisis levels.
New drugs are needed to stop the spread of these untreatable infections, says the WHO.
A superbug most recently found in patients in the UK is the New Delhi or NDM-1, which was brought back by people who went to India and Pakistan for cosmetic surgery and medical treatment.
These superbugs are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, used to treat infections that other drugs can’t tackle.
But the UK’s Health Protection Agency says that the risk of patients being infected while in hospital in India is slim.
“If members of the public are travelling for surgery overseas they should satisfy themselves that appropriate infection control measures are in place,” says the HPA.
Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, said: “Antibiotics are a precious discovery, but we take them for granted, overuse and misuse them: there are now superbugs that do not respond to any drugs.
“Given the growth of travel and trade in Europe and across the world, people should be aware that until all countries tackle this, no country alone can be safe.”