Stop The Antibiotics Essay

972 words - 4 pages

Eleven years old Addie Rerecic’s signs of a potentially fatal illness first appeared on Mother’s Day. A week later, after a checkup in the hospital, the doctors discovered a bacterial infection in her hip. After Addie was advised to take pain relievers, her hip pain showed no signs of progress and she was again taken to the hospital. Her infection, at that point, has progressed from her hips to her lungs through her bloodstream – she can no longer breathe without a breathing machine. The bacteria found in Addie’s body were resistant to most common and safe antibiotics; the only option left is Colistin, which can damage the kidneys. Although the potentially toxic antibiotic worked, the young girl had suffered a stroke and she left the hospital with a left arm that was unusable, an impaired leg, and lost vision in her left eye (Eichenwald). This story, “[a]s recently as a decade ago… would have been a shocking anomaly” (Eichenwald). However, as antibiotics are now overused and misused on both humans and animals, bacteria are continuously gaining resistance to the drugs; this is now something that is faced every day. According to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tom Frieden, if our ways do not change, “…we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era” (Eichenwald). This excess use of unnecessary antibiotics could potentially bring the entire human history of medical advancements down the drain.
Antibiotics are nowadays wasted on obsolete illnesses. According to studies, “…up to half of the usage of antibiotics by humans is unnecessary” (Eichenwald). This is due to patients who “demanded” the drugs for sickness that are completely irrelevant to bacteria, such as colds, which are caused by viruses (Eichenwald). These uses allow the bacteria to have a taste of the drug, then learning to fight against it. The situation is even worse in overpopulated regions in the world such as India and Southeast Asia, where antibiotics can be bought as an over-the-counter medicine. The ease of access allows the public to obtain drugs that are most likely going to be misused, leading the human race even more towards the post-antibiotic era. However, antibiotics are utilized on animals more than anything else, as “…about 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in 2011 were used on [them], primarily for spurring growth” (Eichenwald). Since the 1950s, animals have been made to gain weight by consuming low levels of antibiotics in their food (Larsen). Although this may seem like a good idea, as the less amount of intake leading to less antibiotics being used, this strategy do not end up killing all the bacteria. Instead, it gives the bacteria the chance to spread its knowledge about the drug and later, the entire group becomes resistant to it. Not only does method assist in bacteria becoming antibiotic-resistant, but the humans who ingest these meats will end up obtaining the bacteria as well. Drugs are, however, not the...

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