Drugs to treat Pneumonia need to remain strong Print E-mail
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Thursday, 15 May 2014 00:00

The recent death of Josepha Aragon on May 2nd at number 51 George Price Avenue in Santa Elena Town, Cayo due to Pulmonary Tuberculosis brings to sharp focus, the importance of having a wide variety of effective antibiotics to treat the infections caused by the bacterium Mycobaterium tuberculosis.  However; medical records show that the elderly Josepha Aragon was also suffering from malnutrition, which greatly compromised the ability of her immune system to counteract and stem the spread of the M. tuberculosis.  (Husband of the deceased, 93 year old Valerio Aragon, who is blind, lost his Social Security benefits last year for unknown reasons and now lives in poverty conditions.)

The ability for specialists to treat Pneumonia and other conditions is becoming more difficult over time. This is as a result of the evolution of resistant strains; a natural phenomenon that occurs when microorganisms replicate themselves erroneously or when resistant traits are exchanged between them. But now those tendencies towards resistance by these microorganisms are raising great concerns around the Globe.

The rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other pathogens have now become evident in many parts of the World. That is the message of the World Health Organization, two weeks ago, in its first global report which relies on drug-resistance data in 114 countries. The report notes that the drug resistance is as a result of careless prescribing practices as wells as the use of the medicines in the rearing of livestock.

Adding to the antibiotic resistance problem is that the last entirely new class of antibacterial drugs was discovered 27 years ago. In 2012 there were about 450,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis defined as MDR-TB plus resistance to any fluoroquinolone and any second-line injectable drugs has been identified in 92 countries.

Persons can help tackle resistance by using antibiotics only when they are prescribed by a certified health professional. Persons under antibiotic treatment are to complete the full treatment course, even if they feel better. Also, patients are never to share antibiotics with others or use leftover prescriptions.