Author: Katie Wozniak
Editors: Tricia Garay, Charles Lu, and Shweta Ramdas
You may recall going to your doctor and being told to “complete the full course” of antibiotics that were prescribed to you. Over the last 70 years antibiotics have been used to treat bacterial infections. The CDC, FDA, and WHO have pointed out that some bacteria could remain in your system if you stop taking the prescribed antibiotics before completing the full course, even if you feel better. This remaining population consists of bacteria that could survive the antibiotics the best; this select group of resistant bacteria is then allowed to grow and re-infect you with a vengeance. However, a recently published article in one of the oldest medical journals questioned these age-old instructions and suggested alternatives. In the era of antibiotic overuse and resistant infections, should we still complete the full course of antibiotics?
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Author: Carrie Johnson
Editors: Ada Hagan, Irene Park
Whether you have heard about it or not, antibiotic resistance is a growing threat that affects us all.
For generations, we have benefited from antibiotics to fight bacterial infections that would otherwise threaten our lives. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of antibiotics is increasingly at risk. Bacterial infections resistant to antibiotics already have already taken a significant toll and the severity of the problem is only growing. In the United States, it already costs us over 23,000 lives and an estimated $55 billion each year.
As we head into a new school year and the colder winter months when illness risks seem to rise, the timing couldn’t be better to remind you that everyone (yes, you!) plays a role in combating this growing problem of antibiotic resistance. But first we need to understand the basics of this problem, including the three major factors at play.
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