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That antibiotic may become useless in time......

Scary stuff.    We might rely on antibiotics to "save" us whenever some sickness or other hits us, but we are now being warned that there effectiveness may be limited - or diminishing to an extent that they may become useless.  

Mother Jones looks at where things are at and puts the position as it applies in the USA.

1. In the United States alone, 2 million people each year contract serious antibiotic-resistant infections, and 23,000 die from them.

These figures come from a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on antibiotic resistance that, for the first time, uses a blunt classification scheme to identify "urgent," "serious," and "concerning" threats from drug-resistant bacteria. The CDC currently lists three "urgent threats": drug-resistant gonorrhea, drug-resistant "enterobacteriaceae" such as E. coli, and Clostridium difficile, which causes life-threatening diarrhea and is often acquired in hospitals. Clostridium difficile kills at least 14,000 people each year.

2. We've been warned about antibiotic resistance since at least 1945. We just haven't been listening.

From the very first discovery of antibiotics, scientists have known that resistance is a danger. Alexander Fleming himself, credited with the discovery of penicillin, warned us as early as 1945 that antibiotics could lose their effectiveness. His eerily prescient Nobel Prize speech cautions that "there may be a danger, though, in underdosage [of penicillin]. It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them, and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body. The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant."


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