>> Trillions of bacteria live on and inside each of us. But growing antibiotic resistance is turning some into the enemy within. Superbugs The Fight For Our Lives, opening this week at London's Science Museum, explores what experts warn could be a post antibiotic apocalypse. About 700,000 people a year are killed by drug resistant infections including malaria and tuberculosis.
By 2050 that could rise to 10 million. Germaphobes might one to give this one a miss. I'm Lucy Fielder reporting for Reuters from the Science Museum and hoping that the cases behind me are as secure as they look. They can tell you the kind of every day bugs that surround us, but that scientists fear that could morph into deadly superbugs in the coming decades.
12 live bacteria colonies are on show. All of them potential superbugs. This is what gonorrhea looks like up close. E Coli and the bacteria that mutates to become MRSA are among the others.>> Bacteria are able to adapt and evolve very quickly and easily. We found bacteria a mile underground surviving pressure, we found them in space.
We found them in the upper atmosphere. They've survived a trip to the moon and back. They can live almost anywhere and now we've filled their environment with antibiotics and they're adapting to it. So in order to get the edge on superbugs, what we need to do is reduce how many antibiotics we're introducing into that environment.
>> In the United States, about 80% of antibiotics used are given to animals, most of them perfectly healthy. Overprescription to humans is another factor. We know that about 90% of GPs, experience pressure from patients to give antibiotics. Listen to your doctor, buy meat from EU or the UK in order to reduce antibiotics being used in agriculture or even go vegetarian.
>> Scientists warn that unless we tackle superbugs, antibiotics will stop working, sending us back to the days when illnesses were long and surgery was hazardous.