Antibiotic resistance in the West could be initiated by dirty water in India
April 7, 2011

One of the growing troubles of modern medicine is the emergence of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms like bacteria. The World Health Organization says that the spread of these resistant bugs could send humanity back to a pre-antibiotic era if the change isn't kept in check. That's why it's frightening to hear that Westerners going to India for "medical tourism" are bringing the antibiotic resistance home with them. The problem is a dramatic illustration of why access to safe drinking water everywhere is a matter of concern to us all. The antibiotic resistance is being spread by polluted water in India -- water that could be treated to much higher levels of safety and purity. The triumph over waterborne diseases was one of the great achievements in American public health last century.

April 2011
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last revised April 2011