Antibiotic-resistant superbugs a growing worry for health professionals

AnitbioticResistantSuperbugThere are several reasons that health professionals are increasingly worried about the rapid development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Some even say that left unchecked, superbugs may someday kill more people than cancer.

In the U.S. alone, antibiotic-resistant infections cause more than 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses annually.

Antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that happens in response to medicine.

Bacteria multiply by the billions, and typically a few will randomly develop a mutation in their DNA to outsmart the pharmaceutical drugs designed to kill them.

This risk is greatly magnified by ignorance, negligence and the willful misuse and overuse of antibiotics over the last decades.

Antibiotic overuse kills off important beneficial bacteria, along with harmful ones, potentially wreaking havoc on microbiomes and weakening the immune system.

Modern medicine has known for years that antibiotics are useless for many ailments, yet they continue to be doled out like candy because it’s ‘easy,’ or to pacify demanding patients.

A good example of antibiotic misuse is the case of bronchitis. It has long been known that antibiotics cannot treat it. Yet a staggering 71 percent of bronchitis cases continue to be ‘treated’ with antibiotics.

One of the worst examples of willful antibiotic overuse—and mostly unknown or ignored—is its use in food and dairy animals for greater production and growth and weight promotion.

And Big Ag is dead set against reform, says Rep. Louise Slaughter, the only microbiologist in the U.S. Congress.

Rep. Slaughter and a few supporters have introduced four bills since 2007, urging the U.S. to go the way of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, followed by the entire European Union, which have all abandoned the use of antibiotics for livestock growth promotion.

Consumer, science and medical groups have urged the passage of such a law, but every time it has been defeated. “Eighty-eight percent of all lobbying money spent on the bill has been against us,” said Slaughter.

“Medicine would be helpless without the (proper) use of antibiotics,” said Professor Kevin Outterson, of Boston University School of Law. Antibiotics help save lives for countless illnesses, ranging from skin infections, pneumonia and sore throats to hip replacements, heart surgery, chemo and organ transplants.

“It’s almost unimaginable how going back to a pre-antibiotic era would affect U.S. healthcare,” Outterson stated.

But pharmaceutical companies are not creating new medicines to address the problem, as such short-term meds do not offer sufficient financial returns—unlike the steady stream of expensive medicines for ongoing chronic diseases and conditions.

“We know what needs to be done, we just aren’t doing it,” said Slaughter. “Politics and economics continue to trump science and health.”

Meanwhile, it’s up to us to keep our immune system in good shape with healthy whole food, and learn about the many natural antibiotics such as garlic, colloidal silver, oregano oil, raw apple cider vinegar, grapfruit seed extract, honey, echinacea, fermented foods/probiotics, plus many others.

If we do our part, when we really need a pharmaceutical antibiotic as an essential last resort, our bodies will be much better prepared to benefit from its intended purpose.

Source: www.vox.com.

 

 

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