‘The human race is in trouble’ now that the post-antibiotic era is on our doorstep

Monday, December 9, 2013
By Paul Martin

by: Ethan A. Huff
Monday, December 09, 2013

The first person ever to fall victim to the so-called “post-antibiotic era” — a New Zealand man recently died from a novel bacterial strain that is fully resistant to every known antibiotic — has sparked fresh concerns about what some are now referring to as the real-life zombie apocalypse. Drug-resistant bacteria, warns John Aziz from The Week, is probably humanity’s biggest threat for which there are currently no solutions in sight, and this could very soon have devastating consequences unlike anything the world has ever seen.

The advent of drug-resistant bacteria is nothing new, as this phenomenon has been occurring ever since the first man-made antibiotics hit the scene back in the 1940s. But the tendency of pathogens to continually adapt and develop resistance to the very substances originally designed to kill them has reached a major turning point, as there are simply not enough new antibiotics being developed to tackle all these new and virulent “superbugs.” In other words, malignant bacteria are outsmarting the best that modern medicine has to offer, which does not bode well for the future of humanity.

Perhaps most responsible for the rapid uptick in antibiotic resistance is the widespread use of antibiotics in factory farm animals, which accounts for some 80 percent or more of antibiotic use. The administration of antibiotics to healthy livestock for the purpose of bulking them up faster, for instance, a practice that has been taking place since the 1950s, represents just one of the ways in which antibiotics have been widely overprescribed. It is also one of the primary drivers behind the superbug epidemic we are facing today.

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