Our abuse of antibiotics has gone too far – too far to turn back?

Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 (Image: www.biography.com)

Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 (Image: www.biography.com)

Prior to antibiotics, injuries as simple as a scratch or bump could have been enough to kill.

Today, we are spared from this. But not for too much longer.

We have taken our use of antibiotics too far.

Antibiotics are prescribed on a daily basis.

They are prescribed for no apparent reason.

They are prescribed for illnesses that they aren't designed to target.

They are prescribed to target bacteria that have become resistant.

They are administered to livestock daily, just to increase meat yield.

They are used in aquaculture.

They are used in crops and orchards, the world over.

Our use of antibiotics has been, and continues to be reckless. And the dangers are intense.

Reckless use of antibiotics is leading us into a world without the power of their cure

In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming discovered a mold which was powerful at destroying bacteria.

He named it penicillin.

And he knew it had powers that should not be abused. We didn't listen to him when he said:

"The thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of the man who succumbs to infection with the penicillin-resistant organism. I hope this evil can be averted"

Today, there are organisms that are resistant to antibiotics. And they are killing people. 700, 000 people each year. People who live in the same city as you. People with the same lifestyle as you.

It is in the hands of society to prevent this number from rising.

If you aren't convinced that you can make a difference, or want to know how you can make a difference, I urge you to watch this talk by Maryn McKenna:

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