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The comic about catastrophic antibiotic overuse.
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Sick. Sick. Sick.

bacteria I listened to the last broadcast of Randi Rhodes' radio show on Friday and cried like a baby. I listened to Carl Kasel's last broadcast on "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" and cried like a baby. Too many good things going away these days, like antibiotics and helium.

Yes, antibiotics.

It's times like these I almost wish the Christian fundamentalist's were right, that there was no such thing as evolution. Unfortunately, through the careless misuse and profligate overuse of antibiotics we've let the genetic genie out of the bottle and antibiotics are quickly losing effectiveness against many different strains of bacteria. We're quickly approaching the endgame of available treatments for infectious disease.

Not trying to be TOO alarmist here but imagine dying from a paper cut. Yeah, it could get that bad.

There are several steps we can take to stem the bacterial tide, one of which is more prudent drug use — better and faster diagnosis to determine whether an infection is viral or bacterial and whether it is even susceptible to treatment. Too often doctors prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, for which they're all but useless.

As for cleaning agents with antimicrobial properties, stop using them. You're really doing nothing but creating hardier strains of bacteria.

Also, and this is rather important, farmers must stop feeding antibiotics to their livestock by the bucket in order to facilitate rapid weight gain, another case in which the meat industry is killing all of us. It's estimated more than 60% of available antibiotics are fed to farm animals each year, as much as 50 million pounds of the stuff. That is madness.

Finally, hospitals and individuals must improve their hygiene to prevent bacterial spread. And, just as a reminder, as a patient, always take the full course of prescribed antibiotics. Don't quit just because you're feeling better. The last thing we need is one more incubator of mutant bacteria.


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Vintage cathedral radio: It was like a miracle. All of the hostile creatures were dead because they had no protection from Earth's bacteria. Our world... was saved.
Babs Roach: Seriously, Dad? Those hairless apes went extinct from antibiotic misuse?
Dad Roach: That's right, Babs. Say? Who wants to wallow in their own filth?
Bobby Roach: I do! I do!

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