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The War between Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria - What's Next

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 3-Nov-2017

Between the overuse of existing antibiotics and the slow development of new ones, the prevalence of infections due to antibiotic resistant bacteria continues to be a significant problem. In fact, the CDC estimates that these bacteria infect about 2 million people each year, killing at least 23,000 people annually.

That said, signs of hope are beginning to emerge, and as awareness increases, hopefully these numbers will begin dropping within a few years. Let’s look at a few encouraging developments in this medical crisis.

Reducing Unnecessary Prescriptions

The CDC and the American College of Physicians have begun urging doctors to become more judicious in prescribing antibiotics for their patients, especially when the symptoms are caused by cold or flu (antibiotics don’t work on virus-related infections and so are unnecessary). Some doctors and hospitals are starting to take heed.

(Slow) Development of New Antibiotics

Unfortunately, many larger pharmaceutical companies are still reluctant to develop new antibiotics to combat the resistant bacteria, possibly for economic reasons. However, a few companies are bucking this trend by working on the development of new products. Eventually these new antibiotics should help alleviate the spread of some superbugs.

Alternative Treatments

Some scientists at the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center (ARC) are looking at alternate ways to combat resistant bacteria in tandem with antibiotics—for example, using chemical inhibitors to block the bug’s resistance to drugs like penicillin. They are also taking a cue from the traditional/folk medicine playbook, exploring plant-based natural remedies to find substances that are naturally bacteria-resistant.

If you’re fighting a resistant infection due to possible medical negligence or error, our Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help. Call our office to learn more.

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