The History of Medicine:
- 2000 B.C.—Here, eat this root.
- 1000 A.D.—That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
- 1850 A.D.—That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
- 1920 A.D.—That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
- 1945 A.D.—That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin.
- 1955 A.D.—Oops … bugs mutated. Here, take this tetracycline.
- 1960–1999 A.D.—39 more “oops.”… Here, take this more powerful antibiotic.
- 2000 A.D.—The bugs have won! Here, eat this root.
—Anonymous, as cited by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2000a)
In 1945, Alexander Fleming, a pioneer in antibiotics, said, “the misuse of penicillin could be the propagation of mutant forms of bacteria that would resist the new miracle drug.”
Even now, few are listening, and the consequences could be severe. It could mean that friends and family won’t live as long in the future. Please read on…
Definitely worse than Zika, this disease is not receiving much attention, because in the USA it is mostly immigrants that have it, and there are no visible signs that you are infected.
Chagas kills 10,000 people evert year, and 100,00 Americans are infected. Yep, and you haven’t heard of it?
- Chagas is not typically transmitted from person to person. The insect that spreads it is called the kissing bug, because it tends to bite people on the face, near the lips or eyes, while they sleep.
- Thirty percent of those infected develop life-threatening complications years later ― for some it’s an enlarged heart or heart failure, for others it’s an enlarged esophagus or colon. For many, though, Chagas is asymptomatic. A massive heart attack might be the first clue the parasite is there at all.
- Chagas is treatable, but not if the case is too advanced.
- The only available medications are hard to obtain, come with terrible side effects and don’t guarantee a cure.
- Only 1 percent of people with Chagas ever get treated for it.
Clearly this disease needs to be better known, and cures sought. But as long as the suffers are poor immigrants, there’s little chance of that happening…
A picture tells a thousand words. This picture, of words, shows where we are headed if we keep abusing antibiotics and they lose their magic:
Doesn’t taste nice, but works (in a lab).
Take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together… take wine and bullocks gall, mix with the leek… let it stand nine days in the brass vessel…
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nasty-medieval-remedy-kills-mrsa-180954808/#7TdvvZ7yvCux7MHu.99
Tip of the iceberg:
More than 1,000 cases of almost-untreatable superbugs were reported in Australia in the 12 months to March this year.
- Superbugs are resistant to “almost everything”
- Authorities concerned about spread of gonorrhoea
- Nursing homes singled out as having high proportion of superbugs
When doctors fail to adhere to guidelines set to keep the public safe in the future, there are two possible next steps:
- make it illegal to prescribe antibiotics for viral illnesses
- run a public information campaign in the media, that says doctors who wrongly prescribe antibiotics are not the trusted
Australian GPs are overprescribing antibiotics for respiratory infections, even when their use is not recommended, research shows.
Antibiotics are prescribed for acute respiratory infections (ARI) at rates four to nine times higher than recommended by national guidelines, the researchers found.
…They found an estimated mean of 5.97 million ARI cases per year were managed in general practice with at least one antibiotic.
Had GPs adhered to widely consulted antibiotic prescribing guidelines, they would have prescribed antibiotics for 650,000 to 1.36 million cases a year or 11-23 per cent of the current prescribing rate, they said.
The researchers found GPs are prescribing antibiotics in 85 per cent of acute bronchitis/bronchiolitis cases and 11 per cent of influenza cases, despite guidelines recommending they not be used.
Which sexually transmitted disease:
Surely a recipe for a massive breakout.
Gonorrhoea can be fatal but that is relatively rare. Still, it is very nasty and you would choose to avoid it if you could. Consider this an indication of how less fun the world will be when antibiotics stop working their magic for us.
The original form of vancomycin is an ideal starting place for developing better antibiotics. The antibiotic has been prescribed by doctors for 60 years, and bacteria are only now developing resistance to it.
…Combined with the previous modifications, this alteration gives vancomycin a 1,000-fold increase in activity, meaning doctors would need to use less of the antibiotic to fight infection.
The discovery makes this version of vancomycin the first antibiotic to have three independent mechanisms of action. “This increases the durability of this antibiotic,” said Boger. “Organisms just can’t simultaneously work to find a way around three independent mechanisms of action. Even if they found a solution to one of those, the organisms would still be killed by the other two.”
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-antibiotic-bacterial-resistance.html#jCp
He was lucky that his wife and connections found a solution that worked. Most people who catch superbugs have the odds stacked more against them.
Did I say lucky? Read how much he suffered, and be very afraid…
Full story at the Huff Post
The big problem with antibiotic resistance is that we don’t know what is next in terms of solutions. In a few years someone could make a miraculous discovery. Or we could wait decades and all that changes is the number of people dying.
One option is combining multiple antibiotics together, something that has been shown to work. Although the scientists don’t fully understand why it works, it gets results just like multidrugs for HIV.
So there’s a conundrum. It could just work for a hundred years. Or it could work for 5 years and create super-super-drug resistant bacteria that will never be defeated.
I guess the solution is to concentrate on using these products as sparingly as possible.
Story at OZY
Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection. Testing showed the superbug that had spread throughout her system could fend off 26 different antibiotics.
The near future will have lots more stories like this, and totals, and trends. And slowly and surely many people will choose to lead more hermit-like existences.