Well­ness Arti­cles

Antibi­otic Resis­tance Now Deemed a “Pub­lic Health Cri­sis“

The above head­line is from an April 30, 2003 arti­cle from Reuters Health. On that same date pan­elists from the Infec­tious Dis­eases Soci­ety of Amer­ica (IDSA), the Soci­ety for Health­care Epi­demi­ol­ogy of Amer­ica, and the Soci­ety of Infec­tious Dis­eases Phar­ma­cists warned that the med­ical com­mu­nity is los­ing the fight against antibiotic-​resistant “super­bugs” and few new drugs are in devel­op­ment to counter this grow­ing threat. The arti­cle states that the panel called for “imme­di­ate national action” to limit the threat through judi­cious use of antibi­otics and bet­ter infection-​control practices.

Dr. Mar­tin Blaser, chair­man of the depart­ment of med­i­cine at New York Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of IDSA, told Reuters Health, “Every time you pre­scribe an antibi­otic, you are affect­ing not just that patient, but all liv­ing and all future liv­ing organ­isms.” He went on to say, “Antibi­otic resis­tance is a func­tion of antibi­otic use, and we’re cur­rently using tons of antibi­otics. And since there are rel­a­tively few antibi­otics in the pipeline, when we reach a cer­tain level of resis­tance, we’ll have no reinforcements.”

Dr. Neil Fish­man, direc­tor of the depart­ment of health­care epi­demi­ol­ogy and infec­tion con­trol and direc­tor of the antimi­cro­bial man­age­ment pro­gram at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in Philadel­phia, told con­fer­ence atten­dees, “We used to think of resis­tance as pre­dom­i­nantly a prob­lem in hos­pi­tals. But it has become more and more com­mon in the com­mu­nity. We also thought the organ­isms involved were dif­fer­ent, but now, all the divi­sions are blurring.”

The point about super infec­tions mov­ing out­side hos­pi­tals was made in an Oct. 23, 2002 Med­scape arti­cle titled, “Antibiotic-​Resistant Staph Moves Out­side Hos­pi­tal”. In this arti­cle researchers report­ing at an Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics meet­ing stated that doc­tors need to be alert for an antibiotic-​resistant form of a com­mon staph infec­tion that is quickly spread­ing in some com­mu­ni­ties. Shel­don Kaplan, MD, pro­fes­sor and vice chair for clin­i­cal affairs in the depart­ment of pedi­atrics at Bay­lor Col­lege of Med­i­cine and chief of infec­tious dis­eases at Texas Children’s Hos­pi­tal noted that 70% of the community-​acquired staph infec­tions treated over the past year at the Texas Children’s Hos­pi­tal in Hous­ton were resis­tant to a class of antibi­otics that were once the first-​line treat­ment. He said, “Five years ago, we didn’t see it, now you assume the organ­ism is resistant.”

Ran­dom Article

As reported in the Feb. 2, 2000 PRNewswire, Amer­i­can Whole­Health Net­works, Inc., the largest health care net­work of com­ple­men­tary and alter­na­tive med­i­cine providers

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