bottle of Penicillin

Penicillin (first discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928) is developed into an antibiotic by Howard Florey and Ernest Chain, transforming medicine worldwide. Commercial production of penicillin began toward the end of World War II and saved tens of thousands of Allied soldiers’ lives. Antibiotics have since saved countless lives. In 1900, before penicillin was discovered, the three leading causes of death were pneumonia, tuberculosis, and diarrhea and enteritis, which (together with diphtheria) caused one third of all deaths. Overuse of antibiotics in recent decades has created drug-resistant pathogens, reducing the therapeutic effect of what was once considered “miracle drugs.”

World Population : 170,060,000

Key:   1,000,000 People    1,000,000 People (Annotated)    Milestone

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