Decrease the Demand Please

Here’s a helpful video on antibiotic-resistant infections from Time. The key message is that we’re misusing antibiotics in 2 ways:

(1) We use them for the flu which isn’t affected by these drugs. And according to the CDC, antibiotics can’t cure the common cold or viral pneumonia, are almost never needed for bronchitis, are not recommended to treat many ear infections, and are typically not needed to treat a sinus infection (sinusitis).

(2) 80% of antibiotics are used in our food animals to keep infections at bay (i.e. they’re used on the animals when they aren’t even sick), and as a way to encourage chickens, pigs, cattle, turkeys, and (farmed) fish, to grow larger and produce more meat.

The upshot is that with so many antibiotics circulating in people and in animals, bacteria mutate to find ever more clever ways of becoming resistant to the drugs. The answer is to put the brakes on how we use antibiotics: we need to decrease the demand. Treat them more as a drug of last resort & limit their use in industrial farming to the treatment of sick animals.

 

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