The End Of Modern Medicine: CDC Reports Millions Faced With Drug-Resistant Bacteria And Rising Death Toll As Washington Ignores The Emerging Crisis

250px-The_Doctor_Luke_Fildes_cropWe have previously discussed how Congress and the White House continues to spend hundreds of billions on foreign wars without pause but have failed to address an emerging global threat to humanity: antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. It is part of the lunacy that governs this nation. We spend wildly on wars while largely ignoring a threat that could endanger the entire population. Recently, Thomas Frieden, director of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, put it in the starkest terms to try to get someone to pay attention. Indeed, Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, has warned that we are moving into a “post-antibiotic era.” That means “an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”

The CDC has been presenting data on the rise of bacteria resistance to carbapenems, the most powerful antibiotics that represent our final line of defense. CDC is reporting the appearance of the bacteria now in every state and what it describes as the realization of the “nightmare” scenario for the medical field. Frieden puts the estimate now at over 2 million Americans with infections each year that are resistant to antibiotics. Of those, at least 23,000 people die as a result. To get perspective, we have been waging wars for over ten years at a cost of over a trillion dollars after 3000 were killed by Islamic fanatics. Almost ten times that number are dying each year from this crisis and we are looking at an exponential increase. Yet, few members of Congress have even mentioned this threat or the need for a “war on resistant bacteria.” It just doesn’t get you the same popularity and votes as demanding more defense appropriations. While money has been gradually increased in recent years, it is still a fraction of our appropriations given to pork projects and war efforts.

In the meantime, our politicians will do what they have repeatedly done: they will ignore the warnings and wait for a pandemic. We make fun of the Taliban barring vaccinations, but do relatively little in the face of the loss of antibiotics that are the backbone of modern medicine.

Once we are faced with a rising death toll, they will suddenly act and spend wildly long after the point where the crisis might have been avoided. After all, who needs modern medicine when there are wars yet to be fought. Members only recently expressed frustration in facing public opposition to entering the Syrian war. Bacteria research does not feed the massive lobby in Washington behind defense contracts or produce photo ops in front of ship launchings. Indeed, preventing a crisis does not give you any immediate political benefits. They know that they will not be blamed for the crisis that could have been avoided and can cite to past appropriations as evidence that they did something, albeit not much.  They did relatively little to stop the use of antibiotics in livestock or the overuse of antibiotics by physicians that have fueled drug-resistant bacteria.  After all, the agricultural lobby is an immediate threat.  A pandemic is still an abstraction.

Besides, modern medicine is so last century.

Source: Washington Post

48 thoughts on “The End Of Modern Medicine: CDC Reports Millions Faced With Drug-Resistant Bacteria And Rising Death Toll As Washington Ignores The Emerging Crisis”

  1. Jill, There’s no control over farmers buying antibiotics for their animals. They just walk into the feed mill store and buy what they want.

  2. One of the economic facts of life for Big Pharma…
    There’s no incentive to develop antibiotics – one script and you’re done. They prefer the drugs for chronic diseases – ones that you will use for the rest of your life.

  3. Phages are a real alternative in some cases.

    Certainly we do not have a functioning govt. I truly believe people must pool our money and fund things that will help people, as we are able. That is not the best solution but it may be the only one available to us. Elected officials do not represent the common good or welfare. They are well paid lackeys, short term “thinkers”, (and I actually agree with that one woman who said they were all of the devil! 🙂

    Antibiotics in animal feed is causing a huge problem, more so than over prescription by doctors.

  4. Help please, I just has a comment to raff eaten. Thank you for your support.

  5. Pandemic is to terrorism as a rogue state nuclear bomb is to a so called “assault weapon”. In both cases we spend far too much time, energy, money and media attention fretting about the minuscule issue as the giant threats continue to loom ever larger. As DNA manipulation becomes something that can be done in any decent university – truly monstrous bioweapons can be created by sheer accident; hell – gene swapping by microbes makes that true in nature already should the wrong microbes manage to get into intimate proximity. Our national “defense” funding priorities in this country are mind bogglingly ignorant of what the true threats to Americans health, well being, and way of life really are. No country poses a serious threat to us with bombs, missiles or guns… Not by a long shot – but our infrastructure, our cybersecurity, our food supplies, our health, the environment, our government system, and our civil liberties are all at great risk and so very little (in comparison to defense) is being done about those problems and what little is being done is quickly cut in times of budget woes.
    Dangerous times ahead – mixed up priorities.
    But that’s what we get from our corporate controlled legislatures I guess…

  6. What a perfect time to begin importing chickens from China. A little deadly salmonella with your salad, anyone?

  7. Don’t just thank “big pharma.”

    80% of antibiotics used in the United States are used in livestock.

    To make all the cheap meat Americans want, animals are kept in close quarters under stressful and often unhygenic conditions. The antibiotics used in factory farms are prophylactic.

    These antibiotics enter the food supply not through butchered meat, but through agricultural runoff and through manure used as fertilizer for other crops.

    If you really want to do something about this, take a look at your diet. You’ll all probably just blog about it though. Nobody ever changes their behavior. Even people who think politics are broken expect electoral politics to fix things for them.

  8. @Dredd “Thank you Big Pharma.”

    And thank you big Farmers.

    So how much additional product do antibiotics add to meat production? What would the price of hamburger be without antibiotics?

  9. hsk, Interesting. I saw a report on ESPN about injury recovery by athletes. They talked about supplements that are legal and I think one of them was MSM?

  10. leej, We have discussed your case and you have all my empathy. It is an emotional subject for you as is the hitting women w/ me. Here’s all I want to say. A GRADUATED loser pays will not do away w/ contingency. If the plaintiff reaches a threshold of proving the defendant was 40% negligent, then no attorney fees would need be paid. If the plaintiff makes it up to proving the defendant 30% negligent, they pay half of the attorney fees. Less than 20%, they pay full. Those are just arbitrary numbers and percentages. leej, I have worked BOTH sides. I have been a plaintiff in a personal injury suit. I have never been sued. Hopefully, I never fill in that final slot on my dance card.

    1. Nick, I know we have talked about my case. Your idea would never make it through I think any legislature because attorneys on both sides would never have it.
      Breaking it down into percentages as you showed 40% vs 60 % etc is ultimately arbitrary even using arbitrary numbers for your example.. That seems to be even a bigger gamble then taking a contingency case where you have to prove beyond a preponderance. Who decides what percentage was proven?
      I have always felt that this should not be in the courts, Med mal should be an arbitration/mediation effort with both doctors and laymen on the panel.
      As long as the “thin blue line” remains in tact and it is a game of law rather then just the facts there will never be a way for there to be fairness for either defendant or plaintiff.
      I hope that card stays incomplete, Nick. (:

  11. The medical profession and non-compliant patients are to blame. What’s been the defacto regimen for minor sickness over the past 50 years?
    1) Get sick.
    2) Go to doctor.
    3) Doctor prescribes broad-spectrum antibiotic without much diagnostic effort.
    4) Patient takes three days worth of bacteriostatic pills.
    5) Patient feels better as immune system response catches up to infection, stops taking pills.
    6) 99.99% of infectious units are eradicated, leaving small portion of mutated drug-resistant bacteria to be released to wild.
    7) Mutated drug-resistant strain strengthens with repeated exposure to antibiotics and becomes dominant wildtype rendering antibiotic ineffective.

    Vaccines could be very useful here, but not enough time, effort, and money is going into vaccine research and as long as the general public is comfortable with getting its medical advice from the likes of Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey vs. the CDC, we’re doomed.

  12. Obummer is as much to blame for the shutdown as anyone. How’s that Obama Care working out for you. Wait until that panel of non doctors tell you that you can’t have that life saving operation you need.

    1. Bruce Many people, including myself, have already seen benefit from the ACA. Many are finding the cost f insurance going down through the exchanges. As for ‘death panels” your insurance company does that when they decide whether or not to give you permission to have a treatment or surgery. There is no “death panel” under the ACA, there is no forcing you to not see the doctor of your choice unless you stay with your HMO, Your HMO now forces you to only see the doctors they allow. You need to learn about the ACA rather then parrot the lies, distortions and exaggerations of the tea party and the GOP.

  13. Rep Alan Grayson is the extremist. This country is headed for disaster and the Tea Party is trying to prevent it by being fiscally conservative.

  14. @leejcaroll – I just happen to do a study on this when working for lTV a number of years back. About 100,000 people die each year of various upper respiratory infections due to misdiagnosis and mis-prescribing of drugs. The allopathic and alternative medical community disagree on the solutions. For me I’ve gone with the alternative and have not required any antibiotic or other big pharma drug solutions over the last 30 years. It’s sometimes a bit disconcerting and fearful to take the non-conventional approach but life requires a long list of individual decisions and 100,000 people obviously make the wrong one each year in North America. I’ve just finished treating a skin cancer on my leg with a non-conventional approach and once again it turned out very well. I have the Irish skin, lived and worked portions of my life in the So. Florida sun and golf frequently with arms and legs exposed. Many of my golf buddies do the conventional methods of having them cut out and they are still doing find as well. Life is often times an experiment and I hope I’m making the right decisions. I shot an 83 last Friday with 2 birdies, 4 doubles and won a decent portion of the $600 pot. That’s 3 over on 14 holes and 8 over on just 4 holes, for those that golf. Not bad for a 61 year old.

    Obamacare of me would appear to take away money from people who would normally contribute to their alternative medical healthcare of high quality food, herbs, minerals, nutrients and cleanses. Just started taking MSM, a sulfur derivative that feels like it is significantly helping minimize my muscular acts and pain by somehow neutralizing the lactic acid crystals that cause the inflammation and soreness. If anyone is feeling like they have arthritic symptoms, you might want to try this stuff. Available at most health food stores from a variety of companies. However, always consult your allopathic Doctor if you want to hear the “real” truth about healthcare. It cost a lot to maintain their country club memberships and BMWs so they really do need your business.

  15. Loser pays penalizes those who can’t afford a good lawyer, (even if contingency often have to pay costs upfront) and those who lose because the jury didn’t listen to the testimony but wanted to believe the doc no matter what. I don’t have time to find the cite but 85% lose the case no matter what.
    In my case the doctor perjured himself and it was proven. (The case was nonsuited. I was Pro se too long to go into but I rested the case, gave up, once he changed his testimony as I was prepared for his first lie not the second one. Pa superior court returned case for retrial because they found he had testified perjuriously.) I asked a juror who they believed. She said “The doctor.” It wasn;t worth my time to ask her which time, the first lie or the second?
    Loser pays is not the way to fix this. It further victimizes too many victims of med. mal.
    Tort reform benefits those who committed the malpractice, not those who were hurt/killed.

  16. leej, It’s done w/ REASONABLE reforms. Not draconian caps. A graduated “loser pays” would help. I don’t like caps, but a high cap, would help somewhat. There are NO reforms in Obamacare. Plaintiff’s attorneys made sure of that.

  17. What has to be done is for doctors to develop backbones, as well as medical societies and state licensing boards, and go after the bad do.
    Public Citizen estimated 15% of docs cause 85% of the malpractice. (In my case a defensive test showed that what happened most probably would happen but no one bothered to read the test results until after the surgery and the paralysis of face. Med society didn’t care, state didn’t care and docs said “I won’t testify against him”)
    I would speculate a lot of these defensive tests are ignored. Defensive treatments may well cause harm, as opposed to no effect, resulting in harm and liability..
    ACA can’t deal with that, how can it say “you can’t practice ‘defensive’ medicine.

  18. leej, Docs are getting better @ not prescribing antibiotics where not warranted. However, defensive medicine is still a big problem. If a pediatrician makes a mistake on a child, by not prescribing antibiotics when they should have, the liability is huge! There is nothing in Obamacare to deal w/ defensive medicine, a pernicious problem.

  19. If anecdotes are true too many docs, in the pursuit of expediency, give antibiotics when they shouldn’t. Then add the antibiotics given to the animals in the food supply and it is no surprise there is a problem.
    Until the sick with pneumonia and other antibiotic resistant diseases are rich enough to buy the politicians it won’t be an issue for those in congress.

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