Well­ness Arti­cles

Bac­te­ria Are Win­ning Fight Against Drugs

In the March 10, 2003 issue of the Atlanta Journal-​Constitution there was an arti­cle that warns of the ever increas­ing drug resis­tance of bac­te­ria to antibi­otics. The arti­cle starts off by say­ing, “Antibi­otic resis­tance is increas­ing swiftly among the bac­te­ria that cause menin­gi­tis, pneu­mo­nia, blood­stream infec­tions, sinusi­tis and child­hood ear infec­tions.” The arti­cle reports on a study pub­lished in the March 9, 2003 issue of the British jour­nal, Nature Medicine.

Researchers say that the increase is up from about 9 per­cent in 1996. It is esti­mated that at the cur­rent rate of increase, more than 40 per­cent of all such infec­tions will be resis­tant to at least two widely used antibi­otics, peni­cillin and ery­thromycin, by the mid­dle of next year.

The increas­ing fear is that peo­ple will become infected with resis­tant strains of bac­te­ria. Cyn­thia Whit­ney, an epi­demi­ol­o­gist at the cen­tres for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion in Atlanta, and a co-​author of the study reports “Most of the increases in resis­tance appears to be related to out­pa­tient pre­scrib­ing prac­tices.” It is the overuse of antibi­otics that has been gen­er­ally blamed for the ever increased resis­tance of bac­te­ria to even the newest antibiotics.

The Atlanta Journal-​Constitution also reported on a 43-​state sur­vey of hos­pi­tal inten­sive care units last month that showed the bac­te­ria respon­si­ble for seri­ous uri­nary tract infec­tions and hospital-​acquired pneu­mo­nia have grown increas­ingly resis­tant to Cipro, one of the newest and most widely used antibi­otics. It was addi­tion­ally reported that pub­lic health author­i­ties in Los Ange­les, San Fran­cisco and Boston have reported out­breaks of a drug-​resistant form of staph, which can be spread on contact.

Hos­pi­tals are now notic­ing that some highly resis­tant “super­bugs” have become resis­tant to all major types of antibi­otics. This presents a prob­lem that makes once treat­able infec­tions some­times fatal putting some of the sick­est patients in hos­pi­tals at seri­ous risk. The issue has become so crit­i­cal that a nation­wide cam­paign has been ini­ti­ated by the CDC and med­ical asso­ci­a­tions to per­suade doc­tors and patients to use antibi­otics more judi­ciously. Many doc­tors now refuse to pre­scribe antibi­otics for colds and other upper res­pi­ra­tory viral infec­tions, which are unaf­fected by antibiotics.

Ran­dom Article

A study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Oncol­ogy, July 18, 2000 shows that Ontario women diag­nosed with breast can­cer in 1994 or

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