This winter, don't contribute to antibiotic resistance.
November 16, 2015
A report in The Lancet has shown that in the US alone, more than 6,000 deaths a year could be caused by a 30% fall in the effectiveness of antibiotics.
It highlights that said most of these deaths would occur in patients having colorectal surgery, blood cancer chemotherapy and hip replacements and UK experts believe this confirms that antibiotic resistance could now affect routine surgery because up to 50% of bacteria causing post-surgical infections are now antibiotic-resistant.
Lead study author Prof Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in Washington DC, said this is a "significant challenge". It threatens to
"squeeze the value out of modern medicine."
Our ageing populations in the West will only contribute further to this problem.
But this isn't just a wake-up call to pharmaceutical companies to research and develop new treatments for bacterial infections, it's an alarm bell to us to do whatever we can to prevent antibiotic resistance in our own bodies. It's your body after all.
I've learnt a few things myself recently so I'm sharing them with you.
Try to buy organic, free-range meat. You'll not only be doing the poor animals a favour, you'll know you're eating proper, well-handled meat, you'll also preventing your own resistance to antibiotics. Cheap meat is produced by farmers using antibiotics etc to help prevent illness and death and to provide a better profit margin. As to what goes into the feed, that's another whole article and certainly won't help your health!
Wash your fruit and vegetables. Any antibiotics used in fertilisers will be rinsed off and stop your imune system becoming over-familiar with them.
Deal with coughs, colds and even flus the right way. Bed rest for flu, with cups of hot honey and lemon (fresh lemon provides a natural source of vitamin C), fresh fruit and vegetables as soon as you can face them, vitamin supplements (vitamin C and zinc in particular) to boost your immune health.
Antibiotics can only help you if you have a bacterial infection. Viral infections won't respond. save all your fellow humans at the doctor's surgery a bout of your illness and only attend if you have a high fever or aren't getting any better. If you've had any recnt surgery or you are wheezing or coughing up a lot of sputum, then you should visit your GP as you may have a bacterial infection.
In the UK at present, there are no major signs of antibiotics failing to control infections after routine surgery but Prof Nigel Brown, President of the Microbiology Society, points out that,
"Antibiotic resistance is a global problem and it is likely that routine surgery such as hip replacement and elective caesarean sections will become much rarer in the UK, unless steps are taken to prevent its spread."
Our actions speed up antibiotic resistance in bacteria, especially in the areas of farming and healthcare. We all need to take responsibility for preventing overuse of antibiotics. a future where a cough or cut could kill once again?
Before we face a future where minor infections are deadly.