2014: The Post-Antibiotic Era?

in a Post Antibiotic Era

A recent report from the CDC warns that we are on the cusp of the post-antibiotic era.

By conservative estimates, the CDC believes that drug-resistant bacteria cause more than 2 million illnesses a year. These infections cause 23,000 deaths every year, even as we spend $20 billion annually combatting these nasty bacteria. We lose another $35 billion in terms of reduced productivity.

Without a change in how we use antibiotics and deliver health care, this trend will get worse. Soon we will be facing down diseases that don’t respond to antibiotics at all… and that could set the medical industry back 100 years in some respects.

The Most Serious Antibiotic Resistant Health Threats

We’ve been steadily covering the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

We’ve warned you about the bacterial infections that the CDC lists as the top threats to national health:

  • CRE, a drug-resistant bacteria that typically infects ICU patients, claiming the lives of up to 7 percent of those infected.
  • Gonorrhea, which responds to only a single available antibiotic – officials anticipate it will not be long before it is completely resistant and virtually untreatable.
  • C. Diff, a gastrointestinal illness that causes 14,000 deaths each year.

The agency lists another 12 drug-resistant bacteria that are serious threats, including tuberculosis, MRSA, and salmonella.

The public health threat has become so great that the CDC emphasizes it is not something that the government or the health care system can solve – it’s going to take action on the individual level to prevent antibiotics from further sliding into obsolescence.

In another, separate report appearing in the Lancet, 26 experts have weighed in on the same topic, warning that all current antibiotics are nearing the end of their usefulness.

This state of affairs will have far-reaching consequences in the new year, and beyond. In poorer areas of the United States and in third world countries where resources for sanitation are diverted to other, more pressing needs, things like minor cuts can become deadly. A simple infection, once easily treated with antibiotics, could quickly turn into a life-or-death situation.

Mainstream surgeries like appendix removal and hip replacement will become far more dangerous.

Antibiotics counter infections from taking hold in the body during and after surgery. When those antibiotics fail, you can expect critical surgeries to have a much lower survival rate. You can also expect doctors to recommend against optional surgeries, which will mean a lower quality of life for many.

Bacterial infections will gain a foothold again. Diseases like tuberculosis, nearly wiped out in the United States, are already making a comeback.

The face of modern medicine is changing, and the outlook is bleak.

Getting Personally Responsible for Your Own Healthcare

Until farmers stop using antibiotics as part of livestock production… until patients stop requesting antibiotics for every little sniffle… until doctors stop offering antibiotics except where clearly indicated… until pharmaceutical companies start investing in the development of new lines of antibiotics… until all these things happen, the situation will not improve.

For now, you need to start preparing for a world where antibiotics are not a sure thing. We’ll share four steps that can help you do that.

First, learn about the alternatives. Plenty of natural remedies can counter infection and help you maintain your good health without the use of antibiotics:

  • Cinnamon works to kills bad bacteria. Drinking a daily cup of cinnamon tea will help your body to fend of antibacterial infections.
  • Probiotics–good bacteria–support a healthy immune system and can help crowd out bad bacteria. This is especially true for bacteria like C.Diff that cause gastrointestinal infections.
  • Colloidal silver has antibiotic properties and can be taken internally to fight bacterial diseases or used topically to prevent wound infections.

Second, look into your local hospitals. Some hospitals use stricter hygiene and sanitation routines. These practices go to great lengths to prevent infections, and so reduce the need for antibiotics among patients. Before you ever need the services of a hospital, call around and ask about their sanitation standards and about their post-operative infection rates. This will give you an idea of which hospital you would like to use if you ever require surgery.

Third, purchase meats raised without antibiotics. Agricultural antibiotics are a huge contributor to the growing rate of drug-resistant infections. A general public demand for antibiotic-free meat can make a big difference in this growing crisis.

Fourth, return to a basic hygiene routine. Many hand soaps on the market are antibacterial. It sounds like a good thing, but these soaps actually help bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Switch to plain soap and water for routine hand-washing.

If antibiotics become obsolete, it will make the world a much more dangerous place. Following these four steps will put you in a better position to survive what’s coming.