(Beware of this epidemic)
There was a time when people died of common bacterial infections. As decades and centuries past by, treatments became so easy. It feels like modern science has answers to all known infections. Then suddenly now, we have dragged ourselves to a horrific situation of “Drug Resistance”!
In today’s world, people want instant results. Whether it’s to get news updates on digital media, connecting to people all over the world in seconds, getting an instant coffee or buying instant food. What more! This behavior stretches to getting instant prescription too from a doctor, online consultation or even buying them directly from pharmacies without involving doctors. Antibiotics are abused day in and day out. We talk about opioid abuse because of its potential of habit forming and to kill people but antibiotic abuse is seldom addressed. There will be a day when people can’t find treatment to common infections like middle ear infections, strep throat or a UTI. We humans have been inflicting so many problems on ourselves by continuing to be frivolous.
People insist their doctors to write antibiotics as soon as they get sick. For example, a person with influenza demanding a friend physician to prescribe Zithromax or an Augmentin. Antibiotics are powerless against influenza and other illnesses caused by viruses. So when someone takes antibiotics for the wrong illness or uses too many too often, this kills off helpful bacteria that populate the body, threatening the delicate balance upon which health depends.
If an antibiotic is given to a patient without actually diagnosing the infection, it might be a wrong antibiotic. Here is more on this issue of societal pressures, inappropriate use and diagnosis, agricultural use, hospital use- all contributing to more and more spread of drug resistant species:
The use of antimicrobials, even when used appropriately, creates a selective pressure for resistant organisms. However, there are additional societal pressures that act to accelerate the increase of antimicrobial resistance.
Selection of resistant microorganisms is exacerbated by inappropriate use of antimicrobials. Sometimes healthcare providers will prescribe antimicrobials inappropriately, wishing to placate an insistent patient who has a viral infection or an as-yet undiagnosed condition.
More often, healthcare providers must use incomplete or imperfect information to diagnose an infection and thus prescribe an antimicrobial just-in-case or prescribe a broad-spectrum antimicrobial when a specific antibiotic might be better. These situations contribute to selective pressure and accelerate antimicrobial resistance.
Critically ill patients are more susceptible to infections and, thus, often require the aid of antimicrobials. However, the heavier use of antimicrobials in these patients can worsen the problem by selecting for antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms. The extensive use of antimicrobials and close contact among sick patients creates a fertile environment for the spread of antimicrobial-resistant germs.
Scientists also believe that the practice of adding antibiotics to agricultural feed promotes drug resistance. More than half of the antibiotics produced in the United States are used for agricultural purposes. However, there is still much debate about whether drug-resistant microbes in animals pose a significant public health burden.”
The situation is dire indeed: According to the newest data, more than 2.8 million people in the United States experience an infection from antibiotic resistant bacteria each year. Moreover, these “superbugs” cause 35,000 deaths per year in the country.
CDC has updated the estimated number of infections with antibiotic resistance per year from 2 million to nearly 3 million.”
The fact that so many bacteria are not responding to first- or even second-line treatments means that people with these infections face much higher risks and poorer health outcomes.
According to one recent study, “Of all antibiotics sold in the [U.S.], approximately 80% are sold for use in animal agriculture.”
Farmers have resorted to such high rates of antibiotic use in animals to boost growth rates and prevent infections, which are more common among livestock due to ways that producers handle these animals for breeding or as a source of meat.
- Do not insist your doctors to prescribe an antibiotic without proper diagnosis.
- For viral diseases infections, do not self-medicate with antibiotics.
- Meat might cause and spread drug-resistance, so check labels before you consume.
- Practice prevention habits rather than overly relying on antibiotics. Remember, there aren’t too many antibiotics in the pipeline of Pharma invention. We don’t want to have a Drought of antibiotics.
- And of course, please get all vaccines available today to prevent illnesses. Your doctor or your pharmacist can determine your eligibility to get or not get a particular vaccine.
- Book a consultation at https://pharmacist4u.info/contact/ to learn more on vaccines, drug-resistance and any other health related issues.