Antibiotics and similar drugs, together called antimicrobial agents, have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases. Since the 1940s, these drugs have greatly reduced illness and death from infectious diseases. However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective.
We read an interesting blog post this morning on The Incidental Economist. He makes the point about antibiotic resistance becoming a problem in the future.
In a recent Lancet series on superbugs, researchers found that human antibiotic misuse and overuse was one of the single biggest contributors to antibiotic resistance. It was followed only by the abuse of antibiotics in agriculture.
Use Antibiotics the Right Way:
Are you aware that colds, flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis are caused by viruses? Did you know that antibiotics do not help fight viruses? It’s true. Plus, taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
The Center for Disease Control has a number of articles about what we can do to limit antibiotic resistance, starting on this page here.
For a simple, straightforward look at keeping you and your family healthy and reducing your need for antibiotics, check out the catchy website: DoBugsNeedDrugs?