My daughter is very ill. Actually, she’s been ill for a few days now with very high fever and coughing coupled with a persistent runny nose. I had to take Wednesday off from work so I could bring her to her doctor but it turned out to be a complete waste of time. He even performed an on-site strep throat test to see if that was the problem but the results were inconclusive. In the end I heard the same diagnose he had given us in all our past trips to his office: it could be a throat infection or an ear infection. Having gone through 3 different doctors and a couple of trips to 2 different E.R.s during my daughter’s first 3 years I shouldn’t be surprised with the diagnose… Noir should I be surprised with the solution either. It is always the same mantra that sounds more like a voodoo chant, repeated over and over until you can’t help but go into the hypnotic trance that seems to have taken control over all parents in the nation. It goes a little bit like this (with voodoo drums beating frenetically in the background): … take Amoxicillin… take Amoxicillin… It amazes me how U.S. doctors can prescribe one type of antibiotic for every single type of ailment aflicting children nowadays. If you child has a runny nose? Amoxicillin! Coughing? Amoxicillin! Ingrown hair? Amoxicillin! Bad breath? Amoxicillin! You see, Amoxicillin is what I call a “catch all” type of antibiotic. It is described as
"a moderate-spectrum antibiotic active against a wide range of Gram-positive, and a limited range of Gram-negative organisms.”
Please note the underlined words for it is the source of my “beef” with this general practice. When you want to clip your toe nails, you don’t choose a Hedge Trimmer (unless you have toe nails like my friend Vinny does)! You choose the appropriate tool that will do the job at hand, and only that one job! Sure a Hedge Trimmer would do the trick but you’d snip some of your “little piggies” along the process. My point is that by using a generic, “catch all” antibiotic for every single time your doctors can’t tell you precisely what type of bacterial infection your child has, you end up turning your child into a walking bacteria experiment. When I once attended a class titled “DNA Recombination” while attending Pace University, one of the things we did was to genetically engineer bacteria to become immune to certain antibiotics. Without having to take you on a crash course of DNA recombination, this process is achieved by slowly and methodically growing bacteria in a petri dish and then treating them with a small concentration of an antibiotic known to kill said bacteria. You allow them to grow (or in this case die) for a while and the end result is that most bacteria should not survive. However, a very small group will survive this procedure. The next step is to take the “lucky” bacteria and place them into a brand new petri dish where you have increased the concentration of antibiotic. Repeat these steps for a few “bacterial generations,” increasing the concentration of antibiotic for every iteration and what you end up with is a “new” type of bacteria that has been engineered (or has been induced to mutate) to resist antibiotic treatment. If someone is infected with this “super” type, normal treatment would not work. Sure you could increase the concentration of the antibiotic to a level that would most likely dicimate the bacteria but what about its effects on the (human) host? Yesterday my parents took my daughter to yet another doctor, one that was close to their home. The same battery of tests were run but with a different outcome: This time around the throat infection was discarded but there were signs of a possible ear infection. Guess what type of antibiotic was chosen to treat her??? ;) By using generic, non-targetted medication to treat our illnesses we are contributing to the birth of newer, super bacteria. The more we allow our bodies to be used as human petri dishes, the higher the chances a new plague-like disaster could occur in the near future.