Feb 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:19 AM EST

US Against The Superbugs

Aug 13, 2015 10:30 PM EDT


Since Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin, 60 years have passed already. Doctors have prescribed since then the antibiotic drugs to cure almost everything -- flu to pneumonia to scarlet fever.

However, today scientists are worried that we have been overusing antibiotics. The consequence of this abuse is that the germs have found ways to become drug resistant, according to medical reports. Because of a new breed of germs many infections conquered once are coming back. Doctors call these new strains of germs "superbugs". They are various strains of bacteria resistant to almost all antibiotics.

Even bacterial diseases like pneumonia, gonorrhea and tuberculosis are emerging today in more drug-resistant and dangerous forms. According to reports coming from the medical community, health officials believe that a dramatic cut in antibiotic use could help us reverse the tide. That would mean that patients would have to stop demanding the drugs and doctors will have to stop writing the prescriptions for antibiotics unless is a real need for them.

According to statistics, today half of the antibiotic prescriptions are given to treat common illnesses like the cold. However, because cold is caused by a virus and not a bacteria, antibiotics drugs actually have no effect on.

The U.S. government is confronted with a dramatic situation due to an increase in signaled cases of superbug infections. For this reason, it started a campaign of public education with a recommendation for parents and pediatricians to minimize the use of antibiotics for most childhood ear infections.

As the superbugs continue to thrive, it is becoming clear that health care should take a different approach. Now, even the mainstream medicine is looking to the natural alternatives. Obama Administration's budget proposal for the year 2016 includes $1.2 billion allocated to fight antibiotic resistance. A Knoxville-based health care management consulting firm is also joining the trend. They plan to fight the drug-resistant bacteria with the help of a newly launched antibiotic stewardship program offered to health care providers and payers across the country.

In the pharmaceutical industry, a majority of the major brands are cutting back on antibiotic research. One of the reasons is the fact that antibiotics do have bad rap now and are not even so profitable. A prescription for antibiotics is usually covering just two weeks, so obviously manufacturing antibiotics is not so profitable as drugs for chronic disease, that people have to take for years.

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