Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Drug Resistant Diseases are Here!

by Shane White

It began as the miracle cure in the 20th century. Antibiotics were able to cure diseases that were once considered to be a huge threat to the people of the world. Countless lives were saved. Over the years, these diseases have changed. There are now multi drug resistant and totally drug resistant supergerms that have evolved from misuse of these drugs.

If a person got a disease, they were often given these antibiotics to fight it off. When the person started feeling better, they would stop taking these drugs even though they were not finished with their prescription and some of the disease survived in their bodies. Like our bodies learn about diseases and how to attack them, these diseases learned from these drugs. The surviving virus was sometimes immune or resistant to the drug that was taken. The surviving disease wanders off to another person and spreads on the new host. The stronger virus reproduces here and becomes a stronger breed of the virus with new immunities. Now the virus might be getting a different antibiotic and the cycle repeats. Each time the disease is around these drugs, they become more and more resistant to them. Over many years, certain virus have become immune to everything. This is now in some cases and very soon in others.

Sometimes doctors are too quick to give out medicines and give them out to people who don't really need them. This adds to the problem.

The CDC and the WHO has expressed concern about new strains of diseases like Tuberculosis, Salmonella, Influenza, Gonorrhea, and others. Often times, the treatment is to lock you into a room and give you experimental drugs and hope you don't die.

I am not sure what more I can say about this except that you should be aware of what kinds of diseases are in the places you visit. You should avoid sick people, and if you are sick, be kind to us all and stay home, watch the movie Contagion, and hope you illness isn't anything serious. You can check http://www.who.int/drugresistance/en/, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/19/us-tuberculosis-idUSBRE82I0D820120319, and http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120315/LIFE07/203150324/-1/NEWS for more information.

Check the CDC Travelers Health page for information on what is happening where you are travelling to.

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