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The Rise Of Antibiotic Resistant Diseases

1669 words - 7 pages

of time it takes to cure tuberculosis. Antibiotics for tuberculosis have to be taken for six to nine months (“Treatment”). If a patient stops taking the antibiotics before they are completely cured the disease can become resistant to the antibiotics. It is important that patients complete the dosage, but too often dosage is interrupted and that is why there are so many antibiotic resistant strains. Without a cure, this disease could easily become the top cause of death in the United States again without a cure. The current solution is Directly Observed Treatment Short-course, DOTS Plus. The DOTS program was originally developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to effectively treat tuberculosis in many countries; but once there started to be antibiotic resistant strains, the DOTS program was altered to address these new strains. The goal of DOTS Plus is to make detecting multidrug resistant strains of tuberculosis and curing it easily and effectively in order to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant strains. Part of this program ensures that treatment will be uninterrupted until the patient is completely cured. It is important to ensure treatment is completed because if not it could cause the antibiotic resistant strains to be selected and to spread. Unfortunately, the DOTS Plus program is expensive because it requires patients to be monitored everyday to ensure the antibiotics are being taken. As the National Center for Biotechnology Information website explains, “An inadequate or poorly administered treatment regimen allows drug resistant mutants to become the dominant strain in a patient infected with TB” (Singh and Takkar ). The DOTS program not only successfully raises awareness of the multidrug resistant strains but also effectively treats them before they spread. DOTS will help prevent antibiotic resistant strains from developing, and when they do, DOTS Plus will ensure that stain does not spread. The steps the WHO are taking with tuberculosis are just one example of steps that are being taken to slow down antibiotic resistance.
Overuse of antibiotics is not the only reason for antibiotic resistant strains of diseases. Another cause comes from the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Farmers put antibiotics in their animal feed for three major reasons. The first reason is to prevent disease among their herd animals. Because these animals live in herds, they are more susceptible to diseases, and if one of the animals gets sick there is a risk that all the animals in that herd will get the disease. This could be very detrimental to farmers because their animals are their source of income. If a whole herd sickened, the farmer could suffer financial ruin. If one animal in the herd gets sick, it makes sense for a farmer to use antibiotic to ensure the rest of the animals will not get sick. The second reason farmers add antibiotics to animal feed are to speed up the growth of the animals. Again, the animals are a major part of...

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