First Comes Antibiotics, Then Comes Resistance.

drug resistance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the first-ever glimpse of how antibiotic-resistance bacteria is endangering the United States population in a Drug Resistance Threat Report. The CDC broke them down into three grades of urgent, serious, and concerning and classified them as “immediate public health threats.”

Here are the top 3 on the Urgent list:

1.) Clostridium Difficile (C.diff)

2.) Neisseria gonorrhoeae

3.) Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

In the report, Federal health officials reported that, “at least two million Americans fall ill from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and that at least 23,000 die from those infections.”

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

Where’s the problem coming from?

Antibiotic overuse has led patients to grow resistance to bacteria which renders them insusceptible to future medications. It is said that about half of antibiotic use in people is inappropriate. That says to me that the doctors have a lot of control over who gets these antibiotics and how many. Yet, I’m sure there are also a lot of patients that go into their doctor and request an antibiotic for various ailments when they may not really need it.

On the other hand, many would say industrial-scale animal farming contributes to the problem of antibiotic resistant infections in humans. We’ve known for a while that large amounts of antibiotics are injected into animals to keep them healthy and to help them grow. But did you know just how much? A report from 2011 states: a whopping 70% of antibiotics used in the United States are given to animals.

JAMA Internal Medicine did a study that indicated patients who lived near farms and areas where manure was dumped were 28% more likely to develop a MRSA infection. So maybe that has something to do with the numbers.

I also read an article that suggested hospital janitors have a lot to do with the rate of infection. Some hospitals have reached a realization that hospitals rely on the staff members who know every nook and cranny in each room, to also know which cleaning products contain which chemical compound to use to clean and disinfect. They also may not wash their hands how we think they do.

So with all that said, let’s think back to last week’s survey. I asked, “Who do you think has the most control over hospital infection prevention?” It listed: CSPD, Janitors, Infection Control Specialists, Patients, and Doctors and Nurses. Knowing what you do now, should the survey last week have included Animal Farmers as well? Would you answer the survey differently and say Janitors or patients? Let’s take this survey again with one more category and a little more background on the subject and see what you think now.

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