Home | About | Donate

As Superbugs Infect Millions and Kill Tens of Thousands Each Year, CDC Chief Warns Post-Antibiotic Era 'Aready Here'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/14/superbugs-infect-millions-and-kill-tens-thousands-each-year-cdc-chief-warns-post


Go here and stay in tune with the world…under the plant tab you find reports of unidentified new plant diseases. The climate emergency is taking nasty turns every time you turn your head. Best Practice #1, keep your hands clean with frequent washing.


Mother Nature has come, and BOY is She pissed!


Enjoy your hamburger.

As expected, the article makes no mention of where superbugs come from: the rampant abuse (especially in USA) of antibiotics in animal agriculture… Instead the article so helpfully warns against playing “the blame game.”

That makes sense. If someone is destroying the world, why should I take any interest in who it is, motivating the destruction? That would be playing the blame game.


The article mentioned the need to “improve antibiotic use” several times. I’m curious as to specifically what is meant by that statement. Anyone have any insight?

On a side note, my late mother experienced a C Diff infection toward the end of her life which lasted about a month (until death … it was not the official cause). The doctors were literally overloading her system for about a year with an antibiotic cocktail as they had no idea what or where a supposed infection in her body was coming from. Even they stated that the C Difficil was very likely a side effect of too much antibiotic use … so what was their suggested remedy? More antibiotics …


The streets are also the breeding ground for these bugs

Leaving the poor and homeless to fend for themselves, evolves progressively stronger forms of diseases we already know, ie pneumonia, influenza, hepatitis and tuberculosis.

I saw San Diego going street by street, hosing down everything with chlorine firehoses to clear out the toxic waste from homeless people, that covered their downtown streets.

Homeless people need care and attention, because contagion knows no financial boundaries.


First you fight the fire and later you find out who or what caused it. This article is saying that the fire is getting out of control fast and we all need to address it. It is well known that the overuse of antibiotics caused this (including those in agriculture). This article says that we are in an emergency situation and that ALL means of rectifying that situation are needed. The point of this article is to point out that it is already too late to avoid this and that we all need to take appropriate measures outside of hospitals where efforts have born fruit. That obviously would include overuse by agriculture. This is a scientist not a conspirator trying to excuse corporate agricultural use of antibiotics.


Yes, but that’s not the only factor. This scene happens hundreds of times every day: Mom takes the kid to the local ER with a cold and leaves with a scrip for antibiotics (the vast majority of colds are caused by a virus, which antibiotics don’t touch) because it makes Mom feel better. They’re also given prophylactically, in the absence of symptoms, for example after a routine dental procedure.

The trouble with their being “miracle drugs” is that they’re now prescribed as a cure for everything, when in fact they’re becoming less effective against anything due to overuse.


First you stop the sources of fire ignition. At least that’s how we do it around here lately. That’s why the article’s “blame game” line (and, for that matter, your blurring of the issue, as if animal agriculture were one of many concerns, rather than the principle source) is stupidly self-destructive – whether or not motivated by “scientific reticence.”

Which is another tub of lard, It’s financial, not scientific, constraints which keep the author from forthrightly addressing the source of the problem: Where the first-responders have to respond first.


True, but drug-resistant TB in the US was first documented in the prison system (also a place where the poor tend to congregate).


By scale, it just doesn’t compute that misuse in medical settings has much to do with it. The misuse in animal agriculture is orders of magnitude greater, by any measure. And the bugs brewed up on the farm don’t stay there.

For the most part, I regard the “medical misuse” angle as contrived to obscure the culpability of the meat industry in this. They administer the stuff to every single animal, in confined quarters, just to make 'em grow faster. Absolutely guaranteed to cook up superbugs, and the USDA has been greenlighting it forever, because there’s no tomorrow anyhow, I guess.


We seldom had problems with superbugs until the 1980’s. Improper use of antibiotics for things such as the cold virus creates antibiotic resistant bugs. Doctors were faulted by patients if antibiotics were not prescribed even when these don’t work on viruses. So doctors would prescribe them anyway “to prevent secondary infections” (and bad publicity). AB use in animals is rampant too.

Most drugs should be available without prescription except for antibiotics. People have destroyed such enormously valuable drugs too soon. Although in an overcrowded world superbugs would have appeared sooner or later.

The War on (some) Drugs is a fascist, job and monopoly creating monster that does nothing to prevent addiction. On the contrary, it imprisons drug users were drugs are most abundant and the incentive to use drugs is highest.


Very true, and when we are through abusing them there, we throw them back on the streets.

Really have some negative reinforcement loops feeding the growth.


Agreed that animal agriculture is the greatest SINGLE abuser of antibiotics, but consider the multiple ways they’re abused by the public. Patient feels bad, doc writes a scrip; patient takes the drug for a few days, starts to feel better, and stops taking the drug. The bug is down but not out, and soon does what it does so well: it mutates to a resistant form, which is then spread. Overprescription and misprescrption are not de minimis factors.


Did you even read this short article or just scan it? The head of the CDC states clearly that industry and the use of antibiotics on animals need to be better monitored and changes made. He even includes veterinarians specifically as well as industries.

1 Like

Here’s the relevant quote, which you apparently didn’t read closely:

“Our nation’s health departments, protecting us on the front lines, need even stronger lab capacity and specialized technologies, more boots on the ground to stop the spread of bacteria and fungi, and tailored interventions to improve the antibiotics that are used in humans, animals, and in the environment.”

No mention of the rampant abuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture there, only hubristric hope for improved antibiotics. Wake up, Wereflea. Such talk is textbook mouthwash.

You can’t admit that you were wrong. If that quote specifying antibiotic use on animals and in the environment (um? Just how do they get into the environment may I ask?) isn’t sufficient for you then all I can say is that you are thinking in sound bites like a politician. You want specific (If simplistic) wording just as what is used in a sound bite. Make that sound bites for dummies when you think about it.

Consider that antibiotic resistant Surperbugs have been developing for quite some time and if you
look at health systems in the U.S., Canada, and the Uk, you can see some definite correlations in the development and spread of disease. This is really attributed to humans and human systems, animal use over the last 40 years is one of the many variables that have larger implications. Some of these Superbugs are nosocomial infections and have become community based infections. (this is directly correlated to a medical system and the U.S. system is one of the worst) I’m guessing you really have no idea because this article would have been relevant at least 10 years ago.

The real blame game should be the lack of honesty in the medical system, that if you didn’t know, you would no doubt not believe.

Hello Jessica Corbett and Everyone,
Let us give a round of applause for the “antibiotic-resistant germs can share their resistance genes with other germs and can make them untreatable.” SUCH KINDNESS!

Hello LokaLoka,
I:m sorry for your mother’s death. This approach seems like having a headache and using a hammer to lessen or remove it. If it doesn’t work then use a larger hammer!

1 Like