Now that Halloween 2013 is over and Dia de los Muertos begins, I’m left being realistic about what could be a real nightmare: ghouls and monsters, or drug-resistant bacteria. Given my educational background, I’ll go with choice #2. The CDC made a press release in September about antibiotic-resistant infections and less than two weeks ago, PBS Frontline aired a chilling documentary titled “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria” about the rise of superbugs, how we all played and play a part in developing superbugs, and the lack of new antibiotics to help combat them. The image below is linked to the documentary, please click to learn more. (If the image link doesn’t work, please click the documentary title link above.)
ConsumersUnion is calling on all of us to help reduce the overuse of antibiotics in our food chain. When antibiotics are fed to food animals (meaning pigs and cows… you know, where those bacon strips and steaks we all like so much come from), the antibiotics are then spread to us via the meat and environment. If the thought of needless antibiotic spread matter to you, please go here to sign ConsumersUnion’s message to US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsak.
Despite all the health technological advancements we have, we might end up becoming a sicker society because of the misuse and overuse of antibiotics. CDC’s 2013 press release about superbugs isn’t the first alert. In July 2010, CDC’s Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance info page was last reviewed and then updated in 2012.
How can we protect ourselves from superbugs? Frontline tackles this question with helpful advice. Number 1 of the eight tips is – “Don’t Panic”. A bit of wisdom that can also be found in the Encyclopedia Galactica. Numbers 3 and 5 would have to be my favorites: “Wash Your Hands with Soap and Water” and “Ask Your Doctors to Wash Their Hands”.