Antibiotic

Two staphylococci had a “budding” romance
While brewing in a Petri dish.
Out of a patient’s boil they’d been removed by lance, and their discussion went something like thish:

“I find you so very infectious,”
Said one bacteria to the other.

He replied, “Well I hate to hex us
But I think we have the same mother.”

“But I find you so hard to resist;
You are such a sickening fella.
While other bugs die, you simply persist,
You and that sexy flagella.
How is it you still remain?
Why DO you survive so long?
Are you a resistant strain?
Did the doctor treat you all wrong?”

“Well you see dear, when people get ill,
Even if only from some lowly virus,
They demand to take an expensive pill
In a vain attempt to retire us.
But because their approach is chaotic,
I never ever cry Uncle.
I could care less about Auntie Biotic,
I just go on and make my carbuncle.”

My son recently invited me to watch “The Mummy” with him. “It’s not really scary Dad,” he stammered from under the coffee table, ax in one hand, shield in the other, “but those beetles give me the creeps”. In this movie nasty Egyptian scarab beetles, the size of Cairo, voraciously devour several actors as well as a few extras, the stunt doubles, the costume designers, the caterers and a couple of accidental tourists from Iowa. As the hero blasted these evil beetles with a shotgun, I recognized that he dealt with the menacing bugs the same way many doctors do. Unfortunately as physicians, we sometimes take a shotgun approach to treating bugs that infect patients and we fire any number and variation of antibiotics at them. The bugs, however, often develop resistance to these antibiotics, which they in turn pass on to their friends. Somewhat of a crisis now looms large in the medical community as the specter of roving bands of mutant resistant bacteria are making doctors a tad twitchy about doling out antibiotics. When you head to see a doctor with the flu or a cold, don’t be disappointed when he/she doesn’t give you an antibugotic pill. Not only do antibiotics NOT work on viruses, but by taking them you may also be contributing to the development of a resistant strain of bacteria. Bugs don’t always need drugs! Your immune system is strong enough to do the job against most viruses and bacteria.

Who is responsible for the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria?

1. Doctors who capitulate to the need many patients have to leave the office with a piece of paper in their hand. In addition, they don’t always prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic but rather use a shotgun approach. Myself, I tend to be highly selective, usually prescribing the antibiotic recommended by the pharmaceutical firm that flies me down to Acapulco to verify the latest scientific research.

2. Patients who demand a prescription for every illness. Please get used to walking out of the office with nothing but advice and whatever bug you just caught while spending three hours in a waiting room full of sick people.

3. Animals. The random use of prophylactic antibiotics in chickens, cattle, swine, hockey players etc. may well contribute to the development of resistant bacteria.

4. Mummies.

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