The Looming Superbug Epidemic
Longtime readers know that I am not especially prone to alarmism in my writing, but occasionally a situation develops that is empirically dire. Case in point: the rapid spread of so-called superbugs throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to almost every form of antibiotic we possess. They arise through simple Darwinian evolution: as doctors overprescribe antibiotics for an increasing number of ailments, more and more bacteria are given the chance to develop mutations that provide resistance to those drugs. Eventually the most adaptive strains spread out and infect more people, creating a rash of victims whose infections cannot be treated, even with our mightiest medical firepower.
As one article relayed about the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC):
“We need to declare a war – a war against these bacteria,” the ECDC’s director Marc Sprenger told Reuters in an interview about the report.
“If we don’t, we’ll get lots of infections and many vulnerable patients will become severely ill, and we don’t have the antibiotics to treat them.”
The top reason that patients visit primary care physicians, clinics and emergency rooms is upper respiratory ailments, including sinusitis and bronchitis. Sadly, these patients are often seen by doctors who are not specifically trained to target those diseases, and who provide them with blanket antibiotic prescriptions, which can further the rise of resistance.
The article again:
To a large extent, antibiotic resistance is driven by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which encourages bacteria to develop new ways of overcoming them.
Experts say doctors are partly to blame for prescribing antibiotics for patients who demand them unnecessarily, and hospitals are also guilty of overuse.
If you have a sinus ailment and want to avoid a course of nonspecific, ineffectual antibiotics, seek out the care of a trained ENT as early as possible. To learn more, please contact my Los Angeles sinus offices today.