Monday, January 21, 2008

Avoiding Excessive Antibiotics...

...if you use or prescribe antibiotics, then please carefully read this important article:
Yet the problem goes far beyond one bug and a handful of drugs. Entire classes of mainstay antibiotics are being threatened with obsolescence, and bugs far more dangerous than staph are evolving in ominous ways.

"We are on the verge of losing control of the situation, particularly in the hospitals," said Dr. Chip Chambers, chief of infectious disease at San Francisco General Hospital.

The reasons for increasing drug resistance are well known:

- Overuse of antibiotics, which speeds the natural evolution of bacteria, promoting new mutant strains resistant to those drugs.
- Careless prescribing of antibiotics that aren't effective for the malady in question, such as a viral infection.
- Patient demand for antibiotics when they aren't needed.

Heavy use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock feed, which can breed resistance to similar drugs for people.