During the height of the cold weather months, people count on antibiotics to fight bacterial infections. What they may not know is that current overuse and misuse of antibiotics is making bacteria more rapidly resistant to “essential antibiotics.”
This scenario has all the elements of a modern science-fiction movie: monied interests, public health, government officials, unheeded warnings, and citizens getting vocal.
Playing a leading role in bringing awareness to the American people is The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit that focuses on “improving public policy and informing the public.” They have been using a multi-pronged social media campaign to amplify the problem with an awareness website, saveantibiotics.org, a petition on change.org, and an outreach campaign to alert mothers.
They are not alone in their apprehensions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that “antibiotic resistance” is among its top concerns. In a 2010 Congressional hearing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA) — along with the CDC — testified that a definitive link existed between antibiotic resistance in people and the “routine non-therapeutic use of antibiotic in industrial farming.”
So what does this all mean to the layperson?