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Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Problem with Antibiotics




In September 2003, the CDC re-launched a program start
ed in 1995 called “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics
Work.”
(55)
This $1.6 million campaign is designed to educate
patients about the overuse and inappropriate use of
antibiotics. Most people involved with alternative medi
cine have known about the dangers
of antibiotic overuse for
decades. Finally the government is focusing on the problem,
yet it is spending only a miniscule amount of money on an
iatrogenic epidemic that is costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives. The CDC warns that 90% of upper
respiratory infections, including children's
ear infections, are viral and that antibiotics do not treat viral infection. More
than 40% of about 50 million prescriptions for antibiotics written each year in physicians' offices are inappropriate.
(2)
U
sing antibiotics when not needed can lead to
the development of deadly strains of bac
teria that are resistant to drugs
and cause more than 88,000 deaths due to
hospital-acquired infections.
(9)
The CDC, however, seems to be blaming
patients for misusing antibiotics even though
they are available only by prescripti
on from physicians. According to Dr.
Richard Besser, head of “Get Smart”: "Programs that have just targeted physicians
have not worked. Direct-to-
consumer advertising of drugs is to blame in some case
s.” Besser says the program
“teaches patients and the general
public that antibiotics are precious resources that must
be used correctly if we want to have them around when we need
them. Hopefully, as a result of this campaign, patients will
feel more comfortable asking their doctors for the best care
for their illnesses, rather than asking for antibiotics."
(56)
What constitutes the “best care”? The CDC does not elabor
ate and ignores the latest research on the dozens of
nutraceuticals that have been sci
entifically proven to treat viral infect
ions and boost immune-system function. Will
doctors recommend vitamin C, echinacea, elderberry, vita
min A, zinc, or homeopathic oscillococcinum? Probably not.
The CDC's common-sense recommendations that most peopl
e follow anyway include getting proper rest, drinking
plenty of fluids, and using a humidifier.
The pharmaceutical industry claims it
supports limiting the use of antibioti
cs. The drug company Bayer sponsors a
program called “Operation Clean Hands” through an organization called LIBRA.
(57)
The CDC also is involved in trying to
minimize antibiotic resistance, but nowhere
in its publications is there any refer
ence to the role of nutraceuticals in
boosting the immune system, nor to the thousands of journal articles that support this
approach. This tunnel vision and
refusal to recommend the available non-drug alternatives is unfortunate when the CDC is desperately trying to curb the
overuse of antibiotics

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