Medical topics are not something I usually write about, but I liked this one because what has happened here is exactly what has happened in so much of our – human – endeavors, and it stems from short term thinking. In this case, short term thinking gave a solution that has lasted about say 80 years.
The European Union is presently spending about 1.5B euros per year “fighting” hyper-resistant bacteria, bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. (AFP, 18 Nov 2009)
Fighting is the wrong word. The word should be “feeding“: The EU is Feeding hyper-resistant bacteria.
Overuse of “destroy-all-in-sight” antibiotics is weeding out the weak bacterial strains and strengthening the strong, and about 25,000 people in the EU with a similar number in the USA die each year due to this approach.
Bacteria resistant to antibiotics simply eat their hosts alive. Nothing kills them, except of course, running out of food! :o(
And the seed was sown with the development of the first antibiotic – Penicillin – by 1928.
So what is going on?
Selective condition, Darwinism, survival of the fittest. I said it above: killing the weak strains of bacteria, leaving a few behind, creates stronger and stronger strains…
And we’re the ones doing the selecting! Not on purpose of course. Just with a bit of short term thinking.
The method developed by Fleming in 1928 was amazing in it’s day, and it has saved countess millions of folk from all manner little bug and germ. But we stopped when we should have kept thinking about what it was we were doing…
We didn’t think harder about how we were breeding stronger bacteria.
It’s a method of approach destined to create one outcome, eventually: A SUPER BUG! Sometime in the future…
(Is that Future Now? 1.5B euros buys a lot of bug poison).
I wonder where else we could apply the same kind of longer term thinking to create such an elegant solution… ;o)
Watch Bonnie’s presentation and find out how…
In the mean time, minimize your use of antibiotics – don’t take them if your doctor prescribes them for you, or really, really question why you should be taking them. Your body needs to develop it’s own antibodies, T-cells. That’s what it’s designed to do. Don’t do it for yourself. Do it for everyone: your family, friends, neighbors, everyone.
(OK, ok, if you look like like the living dead, have blood and puss oozing from every orifice, thrush flowering from your nostrils, then I suppose a course could be beneficial…)