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Old 01-25-2013, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

British health official issues dire warning

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A prominent British health official has declared the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs so grave a threat that the world is now facing an "apocalyptic scenario" in which people die of routine infections.
Dame Sally Davies, the U.K.'s chief medical officer (a role equivalent to the U.S. surgeon general), warned Parliament that contagious antibiotic-resistant disease is an imminent crisis and should be included on the government's official register of possible national emergencies, right next to terrorist attacks and natural disasters, according to the Guardian.


Superbugs are disease-causing bacteria that have evolved to have defenses against antibiotic drugs. Over the years, some strains of bacteria have become so robust they resist almost every weapon in our drug armamentarium.


"There are few public health issues of potentially greater importance for society than antibiotic resistance," Davies told the Guardian. And she pulled no punches when speaking to Parliament: "We need to get our act together in this country," the Guardian quoted her as saying.


Davies is hardly the first to sound the alarm on the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. "It certainly would — and has — resulted in a much greater risk of dying of infection," Dr. Brad Spellberg, assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told LiveScience. [5 Ways Computers Boost Drug Discovery]


"We already are seeing infections that are untreatable," Spellberg said. Besides the rising threats of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis and gonorrhea, he cited three bacterial infections of particular concern: Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumonia.


Each of these bacteria can cause a number of infectious diseases, including pneumonia, septicemia and urinary tract infections. In the case of Klebsiella, Spellberg noted, there's just one highly toxic drug left, and it's effective only about half the time it's used.


It's equally alarming that antibiotic drug development is at a virtual standstill, he said. "The pipeline is barren," partly because pharmaceutical companies have few incentives for developing antibiotics that people take for just a few days or weeks, Spellberg said.


Instead, drugmakers focus on research into drugs that are taken for years to treat chronic conditions like arthritis or heart disease. Davies told Parliament, "There is a broken market model for making new antibiotics."


While Spellberg is careful to add some perspective to the issue – "I don't think we should be alarmist" – he emphasizes that a "massive crisis" is looming if we leave unaddressed the continued rise in antibiotic-resistant superbugs, since it could result in a "catastrophic drop in quality of life."

Anyone ever seen Season 2 of Discovery's "The Colony"? Deals with survivors trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where a disease has wiped out a great chunk of humanity.

Honestly, I feel an epidemic of cataclysmic proportions is right around the corner. We like to talk about zombies and nuclear attacks when we discuss the apocalypse but this is the most likely scenario(Or societal collapse after economic failure).
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

Superbugs or disease aren't exactly a knew thing.. Spanish Flu, Black Death etc.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

I'm more worried about viral diseases than bacterial diseases.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

That's what happens when your own society sets itself up for these superbugs. We give chickens and other farm animals all kinds of human antibiotics, raise millions of them in close quarters, then ship them out so airborne pathogens that survived the antibiotics can spread to us.
Also, doctors are over prescribing antibiotics and patients do not complete their whole antibiotic program.
We can solve the problem if we eliminate over use of antibiotics and keep specific or broad spectrum antibiotics out of use until the bacteria lose that resistance as germs are very selective of their gene load.

Last edited by shlver : 01-25-2013 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

this story parallels what is currently happening with weeds and other pests becoming immune to GMO controls like bt producing or "round-up ready" crops in the agriculture/pesticide industry.

and then people actually talk about whether or not they "believe" in evolution. these super-bugs are evolution happening in real life right in front of our eyes, and we owe it all to selection pressures like GMO monocultures and anti-bacterial soap.



Last edited by Nanners : 01-26-2013 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

A solvable problem. Just have to refocus.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

Kill it. With fire.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

damn those bedbugs
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

We're either fucked, or we're not fucked.

What difference does it make if we know about it?

Nothing is going to change that would stop something like this.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

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Originally Posted by CP3MVP
I'm more worried about viral diseases than bacterial diseases.
Bacteria seem a lot less scary because we've had stuff to kill them off for almost a century, but not for long
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dire warning on superbug bacterias- "Apocalyptic Scenario"

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Originally Posted by Pushxx
We're either fucked, or we're not fucked.

What difference does it make if we know about it?

Nothing is going to change that would stop something like this.
I think they're hoping attention to the problem will help get new ways to beat bacterial infections. Gotta compete with global warming and other stuff for the potential PhD students who have a "save the world" motivation.
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