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Posted on: Tuesday, June 13, 2000
Superbugs are Superkillers
planetc1.com-news email to the editor

The ABC News headlines read, "Antibiotics Essentially Useless Against Many Diseases" and MSNBC headlines read, " 'Superbugs' pose global health threat."

The World Health Organization reported yesterday that, "if people do not stop misusing antibiotics, new 'superbugs' that resist all drugs could take the world back to the time when minor infections killed" according to reports from various news sources.

From MSNBC, "The CDC says 88,000 Americans a year die of infections they catch in the hospital, and many are resistant to at least one antibiotic, complicating treatment attempts."

Also from MSNBC, "Because they are so numerous and multiply so quickly, a few bacteria or viruses can survive almost any medical assault and, as in the old adage, that which does not kill them makes them stronger."

The WHO report suggests that "Misuse of medications, particularly antibiotics" is to blame for the rise in 'superbugs.' In countries such as the U.S. and Canada, "doctors are estimated to overprescribe antibiotics by 50 percent."

While doctors blame patient demands for the overuse and abuse of antibiotics, recent studies have shown that patients are concerned over doctors unnecessarily prescribing unwanted drugs. (See our article: Patients keep MD's in the dark)

According to the MSNBC article, "The body always harbors germs, so each unneeded antibiotic dose is an opportunity for them to evolve." If the body harbors germs in 100% of all people, do germs cause disease or could there be other factors involved?

So what is the solution? Do we create stronger drugs? That has not worked so far. Should we give more drugs in more combinations to more people and more animals?

What kind of resistance would a person with an optimally functioning immune system have to these germs? How does one achieve an optimally functioning immune system?

Links to source articles:
MSNBC Health: "Superbugs" pose global health threat
ABC News - Health: Antibiotic Resistance Worries WHO
Nando Health/Science: WHO issues new alarm over drug-resistant infections

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