Thursday, May 03, 2007

another pandemic candidate

It isn't just bird flu that medical scientists fear could cause a global pandemic. A nasty strain of tuberculosis that is resistant to most drugs is also popping up in places like Russia and South Africa.

Bird flu becoming a human pandemic would be just plain bad luck. But with TB, it is a case of doing it to ourselves -- failing to properly use antibiotics to completely knock out a particular case of TB just makes the microbe that much more resistant to the drug. I wonder whether the modern practice of filling our cattle, hogs and poultry full of antibiotics regardless of whether said cow or pig or hen is sick will contribute to making some nasty microscopic creature emerge already resistant to existing medicines?



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