On February 19th, 2015, the L.A. times reported another superbug contamination at the UCLA hospital, with two dead and 179 exposed to a new drug-resistant monstrosity called the CRE. The problem is that this is not an isolated event. Drug-resistant bacteria are occurring ever more frequently across the country, especially where antibiotics are frequently administered and topical ointments like Neosporin used even on harmless cuts and scrapes. The latest government commission research confirms the threat, but very few talk about safe alternatives in an industry where antibiotics generate billions for the Big Pharma.
The evolution of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is fast becoming humanity’s greatest threat in the 21st century, according to the Review On Antimicrobial Resistance, the report commissioned by the UK Prime Minister and released in December 2014. One day soon even a simple scratch can prove to be deadly.
The report warns of “profound health and macroeconomic consequences for the world if antimicrobial resistance is not tackled.” Another 4-year study made by the World Health Organization with 50 experts in the field of AMR predict a similar global health crisis.
By 2050, at least 10 million people could die from AMR every year , according to the projections by KPMG and RAND Europe. The potential economic cost could exceed 100 trillion USD, wiping out an estimated 2% – 3.5% of Gross Domestic Product because of increased mortality and morbidity rates in the labor force.
(Chart from Review On Antimicrobial Resistance 2014)
Today, the Infectious Diseases Society of America estimates that antibiotic resistance causes two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the U.S every year. Globally, AMR is estimated to kill more than 700,000.
Common hospital procedures such as caesarean sections, surgeries, transplants, and childbirths will become increasingly dangerous as bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, potentially wiping out a century of progress in medicine.
Meanwhile, antibiotic proliferation is exacerbating in both humans and livestock. Between 2009 and 2012, the quantity of antibiotics used for food-producing animals increased by 16 percent.
(Chart from CDC.gov)
Antibiotics can be found in 75 percent of liquid soaps, in Band-Aids, cleaners, and topical OTC ointments like Neosporin (which is linked to the spread of an especially lethal strain of the MRSA superbug).
Developing more efficient antibiotics is a loosing battle. It takes years, sometimes a decade, to develop a new antibiotic, while bacteria can mutate billions of times per day to develop resistance. Research labs are looking for antibodies, more targetable drugs and better sanitation methods, but the progress is slow. Big Pharma generates extraordinary profits with patentable antibiotics (estimated $60 billion revenues in 2015), so the financial incentive to come up with alternatives is lacking.
In fact, some natural alternatives to topical antibiotics that have been used successfully for centuries, such as silver based compounds for topical treatments (check our favorite, scientifically tested silver-based ointment here) have been repeatedly questioned by the FDA even as the lab results prove their ability to kill bad bacteria without compromising the immune system (our favorite, lab- and human-tested silver ointment is so chemical-free and pure it is in fact edible).
The actions we take to stop the proliferation of antibiotics inside the next decade will critically affect our odds of survival. Those actions include a serious reappraisal of alternative, natural methods to fight infections.
Watch this short video featured on The Daily Mail about the dangers of antibiotic use and misuse.
Spread the awareness on AMR to your friends, family and community. The message is clear. It’s game over for us, or it’s game over for antibiotics.
Read up on AMR on HoneyColony :
- Learning from Europe’s Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance
- American Meat Is Pumped Up With More Antibiotics Than Ever Before
- Hidden Hand Sanitizer Dangers
- Why Neosporin May Harm More Than Heal
- Dirty Clean Lies: Truth About Triclosan
- Chelated Silver Oxide – A Natural, Topical Antibiotic
Jan Wellmann is co-founder of HoneyColony, an entrepreneur and producer primarily focused on alternative health and energy solutions. He was born in Helsinki, Finland, in a very cold atmosphere and escaped to California early on. Submit your story or essay to Buzzworthy Blogs.