The Daily Dose: Maybe the New York Times should show some restraint when declaring cures

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A New York Times article is trumpeting what it calls ”the new cure for the deadliest strain of bacteria.” The regimen consists of “three drugs: pretomanid, bedaquiline and linezolid.” While we applaud the Times’ optimism — extended drug resistant tuberculosis is a scary killer — we feel a little restraint is in order. Not because we want the treatment to fail, but because we respect the utter resilience bacteria possess. There’s nothing worse than seeing a supposed cure fail, taking hope and lives with it.

Recycling old antibiotics for new purposes is nothing new. Sometimes it works other times not so much. This time it’s a drug called bithionol, “a drug formerly used to treat parasitic infections in horses” but now used to “kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, a common hospital-acquired infection.” Time will tell.

While Antibiotic resistant bacteria gets all the attention, there are other microbial dangers lurking out there. Candida auris is a deadly, resistant fungus that is spreading across the globe. This Wired article is a good primer.

Unsuspecting people are drinking chlorine dioxide thinking it can cure autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and countless other diseases. According to NBC News, “The products — known as Miracle Mineral Solution, MMS and Chlorine Dioxide Protocol among other monikers — have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and can have life-threatening side effects, the department said in a news release.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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