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Cold Comfort Cause-and-Effect Essay Not so long ago many of us resisted separating the glass cans and paper out of our garbage Today of course every second-grader knows that the worlds resources are limited and that recycling helps preserve them We act locally while thinking globally Its time to bring the same consciousness to health care as we face a growing medical crisis the loss of antibiotic effectiveness against common bacterial illnesses By personally refusingor not demandingantibiotics for viral illnesses they wont cure we can each take a step toward prolonging overall antibiotic effectiveness Media reports have likely made you aware of this problem but they have neglected the implications Your brother catches a cold that turns into a sinus infection His doctor treats him with antibiotics but the bacteria are resistant to all of them The infection enters his bloodstreama condition known as septicemiaand a few days later your brother dies Or instead of a cold he has an infected cut that wont heal or any other common bacterial disease such as an ear or prostate infection The antibiotic crisis is real Consider Streptococcus pneumoniae This common bacterium often causes post-flu pneumonia Before 1980 less than 1 percent of S pneumoniae samples showed any resistance to penicillin As of last May researchers at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego discovered that 22 percent of S pneumoniae samples were highly resistant to it with another 15 percent moderately so And the most recent statistics from the Sentry Antimicrobial Surveillance Program which monitors bacterial resistance at 70 medical centers in the US Canada Europe and South America show that 44 percent of S pneumoniae samples in the US are highly resistant and worldwide resistance is at an all-time high of 55 Strains of S pneumoniae are also now resistant to tetracycline erythromycin clindamycin chloramphenicol and several other antibiotics And theres a plausible risk that well
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