04/27/2009 - In 2005, an estimated 18,000 people nationwide died from MRSA, one of the growing number of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Now, a Pew Charitable Trusts study has found that many of these resistant bacteria can be traced to the use of human antibiotics on livestock in an effort to increase the animals' growth in poor living conditions.
Congress is considering a bill, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which would withdraw seven classes of antibiotics from farms unless animals are actually sick. Dr. Glenn Morris, director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, says this action is critically important to Americans' health.
"We may have strains of staph arising now where there is essentially no antibiotic left that can treat them. We may be moving into what has been called the 'post-antibiotic era.' What that will do is, in many ways, move medicine back 50 years."
Read the full article Save Antibiotics to Save Human Lives on the Public News Service Web site.