Antibiotics have been long criticized by various health experts and researchers who claim that they can lead to many other health problems while they are not too efficient.
A new study now reports that antibiotic use leads to resistance to these drugs and helps develop a whole area of other bugs in the body that can make the individual more vulnerable to serious diseases such as syphilis, tuberculosis and gonorrhea.
Unfortunately, we are more exposed to antibiotics than we actually believe we are, not only because these drugs are doctors’ favorite when it comes to curing almost any minor cold, but also because farmers are constantly trying to protect their animals and birds by giving them antibiotics. This is a way for them to increase the production of meat and to help them grow as fast as possible.
The new Resistance Map issued by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy shows the level of drug resistance in 39 countries and the use of antibiotics in 69 countries.
The data shows that there is an alarming increase in terms of bacteria resistance linked to antibiotic use. This is very threatening to people’s health, given that infections might become more common.
The fact that antibiotic consumption is on the rise automatically leads to greater resistance. The researchers have identified two factors that contribute to the higher levels of antibiotic consumption.
Firstly, the higher incomes have a great impact on the access to antibiotics. Secondly, the increasing need for food, especially meat has led to a need to raise the animal production, prompting producers to use antibiotics massively.
Low-income countries, where antibiotics are sold over the counter , such as India, South Africa and Brazil are also affected by the increasing use of medication that proves dangerous on the long term.
Over the last decade, it was reported that antibiotic use grey by as much as 30 percent. These are numbers based on the data collected only from 71 countries, so the figures might be even higher than that.
As far as the trends in antibiotic resistance are concerned, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the infections that were most at risk in 2014 included Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, which can be easily spread from one individual to another.
The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy recommends that both health experts and farmers or other producers limit the use of antibiotics, especially if they are not absolutely necessary. The researchers named six strategies to reduce antibiotic use.
These refer to finding means to improve water, immunization and sanitation, work on improving hospital infection control, avoid antibiotic overuse, reduce or eliminate antibiotic use in agriculture, provide more information to health professionals regarding the dangers antibiotics pose and encourage authorities to find means to deal with the threat of resistance to antibiotics.
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