Increasing resistance to antibiotics is as considerable a threat to the nation as terrorism, the government's chief medical officer for England has claimed.
Professor Dame Sally Davies said the situation is "a ticking time bomb" because pharmaceutical companies are not developing new drugs.
She has urged the government to highlight the issue at the G8 summit in London next month, warning that routine operations could endanger people's lives within the next 20 years because they will no longer be able to fight infection.
"If we don't take action, then we may all be back in an almost 19th century environment where infections kill us as a result of routine operations," Dame Sally stated.
Because patients can develop a resistance to antibiotics and the fact they are usually only used for a period of one or two weeks, Dame Sally suggested firms do not view the drugs as profitable.
In an effort to encourage new treatments, she has called on the government to provide incentives to these companies.
Find the nearest Barchester nursing home.