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From savior to assassin - How killer germs have defeated our last antibiotic
Newark Star Ledger ^ | 12/7/03 | AMY ELLIS NUTT

Posted on 12/07/2003 12:52:39 PM PST by Incorrigible

Edited on 07/06/2004 6:39:24 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

The only thing Robert Thompson knows for certain is that his patient died. Almost everything else about Ryan Donahoe's illness remains a mystery -- and a warning. Now, five months later, the Seattle physician still asks the same question.

How could a strong, athletic 19-year-old walk into a hospital emergency room complaining only of fever and lower back pain and seven days later end up dead?

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: health; healthcare; medicine; penicillin; staph; vancomycin; vrsa
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To: Incorrigible
What really makes me irate are the doctors that throw up their hands and say 'the patients force us to write prescriptions for antibiotics for viral infections." For God's sake, grow a backbone and explain why you won't prescribe an antibiotic if it's not needed. THAT'S WHY YOU'RE THE DOCTOR!

I'm a pharmacist and every time some loser comes in for an antibiotic because they have a cold or virus I just want to shake them silly. I usually tell them that they are wasting their money and contributing to a very dangerous situation. Not that it does any good. They always think it's somebody else's problem and that thy are being 'safe' by taking the antibiotic 'just in case'. GRRRRR!
41 posted on 12/07/2003 2:52:52 PM PST by usmom
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To: IronJack
re: overuse of disinfectants have killed off all but the hardiest strains.)))

Gee, I'd love to hear an alternative cleaning protocol for using disenfectants in hospital. Since you know what is too much, care to share about what exactly is enough?

42 posted on 12/07/2003 2:56:01 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Maceman
"I am appalled and embarrassed that a regular FRF poster would have such an attitude."

Well said, thank you. I guess you’d have had to have gone through it with someone you love to fully understand.
43 posted on 12/07/2003 2:56:24 PM PST by panaxanax
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To: Incorrigible
This is very alarming, and much of it is true.


Humans are inventing new antibiotics and other means of treating infections at an accelerating rate.

The Human Genome project is one positive sign.

I personally (a layman) am optimistic that we will outrace the least for a while.

The big danger (to me) is the thousands of gallons of militarized bioagents--including bacteria and viruses--still in storage in Russia--and the almost non-existent security protecting them.


44 posted on 12/07/2003 3:02:25 PM PST by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Your position is competely at odds with the information I've come across over the past several years. I'm not challenging your information, just posing a consideration.

How do you reconcile the FDA's staunch position against ozone with facts to the contrary?

For example, Los Angeles treats it's water supply with ozone. I've seen video of huge glass tanks at the DWP with the words "Ozone Treatment Tank" imprinted on the tank.

I've seen a video interview of the top doctor for the Canadian military, in his office, in uniform, explaining how they had used ozone to treat field blood supplies, and how when they tested ozone with AIDS-tained blood, ozone killed the AIDS virus 100%.

And then there's the video footage of the German doctor.

Ozone is used to treat drinking water supplies in over 2,000 cities worldwide.

As for "quackery", why is it that in 1900, one in 100 Americans got cancer, and today it is fast approaching one in two? Is that "medical progress"?

45 posted on 12/07/2003 3:02:48 PM PST by handk (All I demand is mindless robotic obedience, and rightly so.)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Dear Professor. From the article on Ozone.

"LEL: . . Nonflammable Gas."

Nonflammable means it will not burn but ozone is a form of oxygen so it will support combustion.
46 posted on 12/07/2003 3:06:05 PM PST by ALinArleta
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To: IronJack
"I'm told that many resistant colonies -- usually staph. aureus, come from hospitals themselves, where overuse of disinfectants have killed off all but the hardiest strains."

If this is true, here's an idea. Evacuate the hospital and remove all sensitive equipment. Send in a robot holding a strong gamma-ray source (like cesium-137). Have it wave the source everywhere, killing every living thing in the hospital.

Remove the robot; secure the gamma source; send back the people and machines.

The machines can be sterilized by "other" means, such as exposure to ethlyene oxide or ozone...?

I've been told this will not work for two reasons:

1. The actual reservoir of resistant bacteria is in the population (e.g., patients and visitors) and
2. No hospital can afford to cease operations and evacuate--even for 24 hours.

I dunno.


47 posted on 12/07/2003 3:10:04 PM PST by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: IronJack
"While this is certainly a cause for concern, this article strikes me as unduly ararmist, almost sensationalist."

I hope you are right!
48 posted on 12/07/2003 3:10:07 PM PST by Arpege92
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To: Right Wing Professor
"Ozone is highly poisonous. Its OSHA TWA is 0.1 ppm, with an emergency short term exposure limit of 1 ppm. 50% human lethality is obtained at 50 ppm exposure for 30 minutes. It's also explosive, and highly unstable."

But liquid ozone is a beautiful purple color, which makes up for a lot.

Ozone is a strong oxidizer; it is not explosive in itself, but will enthusiastically burn nearly anything.

I don't know if I'm more afraid of liquid fluorine or liquid ozone...not sure which is the more powerful


49 posted on 12/07/2003 3:12:19 PM PST by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: handk
"Ozone is simply oxygen with an extra electron. It is created when you combine oxygen with an energy source, such as sunlight, lightning or electricity. You know how invigorating and refreshing the air is after a lightning storm? That's ozone. It's oxygen that's been "kicked up a notch" (as Emeril would say)."

False. Ozone is O3, a 3-atom form of oxygen, which is normally 2-atoms per molecule (O2).

"I viewed a video of an interview with a German doctor, probably filmed about 15 years ago. He showed one patient with a a leg sore that refused to heal naturally, and this patient had an air-tight inflatable bag strapped around the wound and it was being pumped full of ozone."

You may have watched something but I claim that the bag could not possibly been "pumped full of ozone" if by that you mean pure ozone. Probably a very dilute mixture of gaseous oxygen and ozone...99% oxygen or something.

Hyperbaric oxygen is used as a treatment for certain infections; just high-pressure O2.


50 posted on 12/07/2003 3:15:53 PM PST by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: Cathryn Crawford
51 posted on 12/07/2003 3:19:11 PM PST by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: handk; mahinahoku; Right Wing Professor; Centurion2000
Ozone kills all bacteria, viruses, pathogens and fungi upon contact.

Well sure -- at high enough concentrations, in a test tube. But then so does hydrochloric acid.

Zero side effects.

Exsqueeze me? The same concentrations of ozone that "kill all bacteria, viruses, pathogens and fungi upon contact" will also cause damage to other kinds of living tissue, including in humans. That's why ozone is one of the pollutants tracked by most air pollution regulations.

Ozone is no "magic bullet". It's just a corrosive variant of oxygen, which will bleach and/or corrode just about anything it contacts. Yes, enough ozone will damage single-celled organisms including the ones that act as pathogens. It will also damage human tissue, as well as rubber, nylon, plastics, dyes, and paints.

That sounds like a lot more than "zero side effects" to me.


Ozone Concentrations and Your Health

Two of the most important factors are the concentration of ozone and duration of exposure. Numerous epidemiological studies show the relationship between health effects and specific ozone ranges. EPA has gathered information about health effects through research, studies comparing health statistics and ozone levels in the communities, and controlled testing of human volunteers. 

The EPA has developed the Air Quality Index (AQI) for reporting the levels of ozone and other pollutants, and their effects on human health. The AQI scale has been divided in different categories, which range from 0 to 300. Each category corresponds to a different health impact (Table1). The NAAQS for ozone are 0.120 ppm averaged over 1 hour and 0.08 ppm averaged over 8 hours.

0.125 (1-h) TO 0.404 (8-h) ppm (VERY UNHEALTHY)

At ozone concentrations from 0.125 to 0.404 ppm, sensitive people experience severe respiratory symptoms and impaired breathing.

Recent studies of humans exposed to these ozone concentrations have shown pulmonary function impairment during heavy exercise (7). Another study, conducted in Mexico City, shows that exposures from 0.170 to 0.250 ppm 1-h, increase the occurrence of respiratory symptoms, such as cough, phlegm, difficulty in breathing, and reduce PEFRs among children with mild asthma (2). In addition, ozone exposure to 0.30 ppm 1-h induces lower airway inflammation. This is manifested by PMN influx measured by bronchoalveolar lavage (3). Also, at this concentration with continuous exercise, FEV1 decreases.

0.105 to 0.124 ppm (UNHEALTHY)

1 HOUR EXPOSURE. A study conducted in Atlanta indicated that when the maximum 1-h ozone level equaled or exceeded 0.110 ppm, the number of emergency visits to the hospital for asthma or reactive airway disease increased in children. During this exposure, many children and adults progressively developed substernal pain on deep inspiration, coughing, and reduction of vital capacity and FEV1 (1).

8 HOURS EXPOSURE. Reduction in lung function is observed with exposures of <0.12 ppm over 6-8 hours with moderate exercise, manifested by decrements in FEV1. (4,5).


1 HOUR EXPOSURE. Sensitive people, active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease under heavy outdoor exertion, may experience respiratory symptoms such as coughing or pain when taking a deep breath, and reduced lung function. Other studies have associated 0.100 ppm ozone concentrations with increased respiratory hospital admission in elderly (12).

8 HOUR EXPOSURE. In accordance with AQI, sensitive people, active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease under prolonged outdoor exertion, may experience respiratory symptoms such as coughing or pain when taking a deep breath, and reduced lung function, which can cause some breathing discomfort.

A series of studies conducted in the USA (1,3,6) demonstrated that with 0.09 ppm ozone, the number of hospital visits for asthma increased and people undergoing moderate exercise increased their sensitivity to ozone. Also, 0.100 ppm ozone induces neutrophilic influx into the airway and resulting inflammation, and a decrease in forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and PEFR in asthmatic people (children and adults).

0.065 to 0.84 ppm (MODERATE)

1 HOUR EXPOSURE. In this specific range, based on the AQI standards, ozone health effects are not expected. However, in a study of 154 children aged 10-12 years in Tennessee, 0.078 ppm of ozone was associated with decrements in FEV1 and FEF25-75 (5), and with 0.082 ppm an increase in asthma-related hospitals visits was observed.

8 HOURS EXPOSURE. Sensitive people may experience respiratory effects from prolonged exposure to ozone during outdoor exertion. In addition, other studies (1,6,8) have demonstrated that ozone concentrations at 0.080 ppm produce adverse effects on human health such as PEFR decrements in asthmatic children (6), decrements in FEV1 with intermittent exercise in healthy men (5,7), and increased hospital visits for asthma (1,8).

to 0.064 ppm (GOOD)

In accordance with NAAQS and AQI, at ozone levels from 0.0 to 0.64 no health effects are expected and the air quality is considered "GOOD". However, recent studies have demonstrated that at these concentrations ozone can exert adverse health effects.

1 HOUR EXPOSURE. A study conducted in Brisbane, Australia by Simpson et al. demonstrated an association between 0.030 ppm ozone and daily mortality in the elderly (11). In a study in Mexico, the relationship between ozone exposure in asthmatic children (5-13 years of age) and mild asthma was evaluated. Exposure to 0.050 ppm increased the occurrence of lower respiratory symptoms such as cough, phlegm and difficulty breathing, and reduced PEFRs. A different study suggests that 0.065 ppm ozone increases respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children. (5).

8 HOURS EXPOSURE. No information available.

24 HOURS EXPOSURE. Sartor and co-authors (1994) analyzed low levels of ozone and daily mortality in Belgium. This study demonstrated a relationship between 0.050 ppm ozone, high temperatures, and the number of daily deaths (9). An increase in elderly deaths with 0.034 ppm for 24-h was also observed (9, 11). Schwartz utilized Medicare records for the years 1986-1989 to study the association between ozone concentrations and respiratory admissions among elderly. In this study a significant relationship was observed between 0.050 ppm 24-h ozone concentration and hospital admission for pneumonia. (12).

Ironically, if you're trying to use ozone as a disinfectant:
Evidence also suggests ozone exposure lowers the body's defenses, increasing susceptibility to respiratory infections (24)(25).

Used routinely in Europe for over 50 years.

Actually, for almost 100 years (since 1906), but who's counting? It has been used in the US almost as long, although not as widely.

Illegal in America.

Horse manure! That's going to come as a big surprise to the folks in Fargo, North Dakota, who use ozone in their water treatment plant.

Or the Colorado-based H2O Engineering" which manufacturers and domestically sells various kinds of ozone-treatment machines for water and food treatment.

The California-based Dime Water company does likewise.

The world's largest water-treatment plant (600 million gallons a day) to use Ozone for disinfection is in Los Angeles, which the last time I checked was still in America.

Want to buy an air purifier for your home that uses Ozone to help clean the air? Visit Janesco, Inc., or any of countless other ozone-generating air purifiers that are perfectly legal.

The only federal regulations regarding ozone air purifiers is that the EPA recommends that settings should be selected (by the user) so that the ozone level is less than 0.05 ppm.

There are other regulations concerning how much residual ozone is left in water after treatment is finished, but that's hardly the same thing as it being "illegal".

Whatever source you got that twaddle from, please do not consider it a reliable source in the future.

Finally, while ozone is a pretty good disinfectant for materials and surfaces where the ozone can be applied in controlled situations (i.e., in the tubes of a water treatment plant), it is *not* suitable for topical use on the skin or body or for internal use -- thus it is hardly any kind of substitute for antibiotics, which unlike ozone are able to target microbes without causing similar damage to human tissue (as ozone does). For that matter, use ozone as a disinfectant long enough and microbes will develop resistance to *it* as well (like corrosion-resist spore coats, etc.)

It's a "profit" thing.

Actually, it's a "baseless conspiracy urban legend" thing...

52 posted on 12/07/2003 3:20:21 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Right Wing Professor
A quick search turned up the following 186 articles, papers, essays.

I guess they're all quacks, eh?

Xavatoria Search Results

Searched for: ozone, therapy.
Displaying documents 1-10 of 186, with best matches first. - OxyFile #032 - Chronological Ozone Medical References
OxyFile #32 This is the most complete set of English language Ozone Medical references available to date. It took Ed McCabe 7 years of ...
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/OXY00032.HTM - 85 K - 22 Oct 100 - OxyFile #345 - Ozone: Life-Threatening Pollutant or Powerful Healing Agent?
OxyFile #345 Ozone: Life-Threatening Pollutant or Powerful Healing Agent? Nathaniel Altman author of Oxygen Healing Therapies It's summer in New York City and the ...
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/OXY00345.HTM - 27 K - 22 Oct 100 - OxyFile #038 - Ed McCabe Rebuttal of Negative APLA Ozone Article
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/OXY00038.HTM - 39 K - 25 Oct 100 - OxyFile #034 - Ozone is not Smog - Ozone is Good and Natural
OxyFile #34 Adapted from Ed McCabe's "Oxygen Therapies" Copyright 1990 by Ed McCabe OZONE IS NOT SMOG OZONE IS GOOD AND NATURAL By Ed ...
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/OXY00034.HTM - 25 K - 22 Oct 100

/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/Oxy00038.htm - 42 K - 27 Oct 100 - OxyFile #128 - DOD Positive Ozone / HIV Results Ignored
OxyFile #128 Canadian Medical Research Mystery DOD Positive Ozone / HIV Results Ignored C. 1994-2000 by Ed McCabe, Investigative Reporter, and author of the ...
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/Oxy00128.htm - 28 K - 27 Oct 100 - OxyFile #128 - DOD Positive Ozone / HIV Results Ignored
OxyFile #128 Canadian Medical Research Mystery DOD Positive Ozone / HIV Results Ignored C. 1994-2000 by Ed McCabe,Investigative Reporter, and author of the bestseller ...
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/OXY00128.HTM - 26 K - 25 Oct 100

The following article appeared in Well Being Journal’s "Special Edition: Healing Cancer Naturally" national magazine on news stands for all of 2000 "Medical Ozone ...
/users/outpouring/wbjwarburg.htm - 27 K - 25 Oct 100 - OxyFile #031 - Ozone Therapy: The Science Behind the Scandal
OxyFile #31 AIDS NEWS SERVICE Michael Howe, MSLS, Editor AIDS Information Center VA Medical Center, San Francisco (415) 221-4810 ext 3305 April 15, 1994 ...
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/OXY00031.HTM - 24 K - 22 Oct 100 - OxyFile #605 - Ask Mr. Oxygen by Ed McCabe - Column 6
OxyFile #605 ASK MR OXYGEN Questions about oxygen's use in the treatment of disease that were commonly put to Ed McCabe - the author ...
/users/outpouring/oxyfiles/OXY00605.HTM - 28 K - 22 Oct 100
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53 posted on 12/07/2003 3:22:18 PM PST by handk (All I demand is mindless robotic obedience, and rightly so.)
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To: handk; mahinahoku; Right Wing Professor; Centurion2000
Ack -- for some reason the line "It's a profit thing" in my prior post was not italicized. Please note that was actually a quote from handk's post which I was responding to, not something I wrote myself in my post.
54 posted on 12/07/2003 3:22:18 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Incorrigible
I've had experience with this problem through my husband. In 2000, he had a heart attack. I took him to the emergency room because he wasn't feeling well, and they hooked him up to an EKG that showed a heart that was working normally. Then it hit him, and the EKG chart went crazy. They could tell immediately from the EKG where the problem was, and they explained to him and me what was going on. The heart attack was considered a "mild" one, and they administered clot busters and opened the clogged artery before any damage was caused to the heart muscle.

Actually, the whole process was very interesting, and as his wife I felt the seriousness of the situation but it was not terribly frightening. I was able to stay by his side in the emergency room, and the doctor and emergency room personnel were very reassuring, and all in the space of 10 -15 minutes we saw a normal EKG go to abnormal and then back once again to OK. The next day, he had a heart catheterization and a stent implant, which fully opened up the clogged artery. Throughout the entire hospital stay, every blood test showed that he had no damage to his heart. He came home two days after the angioplasty.

What started the real drama came three days later. He had been fine that morning, but I came home from work to find him looking terrible and all washed out. I felt of his forehead and man was he burning up. Also, one the the sites where he had been given an IV was red and warm.

Even though he was supposed to see his cardiologist the next day for a follow-up appointment, I took him to the emergency room. This time I was scared. I was fully aware of what the fever might mean. To have it make it through the heart attack with flying colors and no heart damage, only to get heart damage or die from a bacteria. They took some blood samples in a couple of very interesting looking vials (I assume one was to grow and identify MSRA, and the other one was identical except it also contained vancomycin), and they performed a Doppler ultrasound on his arm to look for a clot.

His cardiologist was called, and he gave the order to give MrRedWhiteBlue some sort of antibiotic capsules and send him home. When the nurse told this to the attending physician in the ER, he went ballistic. I could hear him yelling "WHAT DO YOU MEAN DR X WANTS TO SEND HIM HOME! MR RWB JUST HAD ANGIOPLASTY LAST WEEK. WE CAN'T SEND HIM HOME. GET DR. X BACK ON THE PHONE RIGHT NOW." The attending physician was not going to accept the original request of the cardiologist.

They started IV antibiotics, but they didn't do anything. They transfered him to another hospital affiliated with a different hospital system due to lack of beds. (I've always wondered if they did this because they didn't want to show in their records that a patient returned to their facilities within a few days with MSRA). Hubby was almost delirious with a fever that Tylenol or aspirin wouldn't budge. I was really frightened at this point. He didn't understand what was going on, but I did. I would stay with him all day and come home at night and break down so that he would not know.

After 2 1/2 days, the results came back on the blood test that showed that sure enough he had MSRA in his bloodstream. His infectious diseases doctor called and told me the news, but said not to worry because it was treatable with vancomycin. When the article says that vancomycin is "liquid gold," that is exactly was it was in this case. Around 15 minutes after they started his first IV that morning, the fever was gone. It was his first bit of relief. The fever did come back gradually during the afternoon, which worried me a bit. On one hand, the first dose of antibiotics never gives a complete cure, but on the other hand I was worried that the vancomycin had only killed off the weaker bacteria and now what we were seeing was the stronger bacteria growing and taking their place. But the second IV that evening had results that were just as dramatic as the first, and after that second IV the fever was gone.

The next morning, a nurse from the office of the infectious disease specialist called and said "you are leaving the hospital today. There is nothing they can do for you there. You can do handle this yourself at home. I've arranged for you to check out now. Come to my office ASAP." She inserted a special IV into hubby's arm, and then she trained me how to hook him up to an IV and keep a sterile field. They supplied us with everything needed -- IV containers of vancomycin, syringes, heparin, saline solution, alcohol swabs, etc. This was a Friday, and he returned to work the next Monday. Every morning and every evening for the next two weeks, I hooked him up to a dose of vancomycin for about an hour.

I can't imagine what would have happened if I had not brought him to the emergency room that evening or if the attending physician hadn't stuck up for us when the cardiologist wanted to send us home with antibiotic capsules. If I had waited until the next day for the scheduled office visit with his cardiologist, it might have been several more days before he had the blood tests that he needed to identify the problem. By then, the whole thing would have been screwed up due to receiving ineffective antibiotic treatment and it would have been too late for vancomycin.

Since that time, I have known two people that died in a similar situation -- MSRA infections that took hold after a heart attack and angioplasty. I don't know if it is true, but I have read that when people get hospital induced staff infections, the #1 reason for the original hospital stay was angioplasty. Many people I work with had their own stories to tell of hospital induced infections in their relatives. It is not as uncommon as one might think. I just hope that we've had our share and we never have to deal with this again.
55 posted on 12/07/2003 3:23:36 PM PST by RedWhiteBlue
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To: Incorrigible
We are prepared. I have a colloidal silver generator and a colloidal gold generator.
56 posted on 12/07/2003 3:27:13 PM PST by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: A CA Guy
I agree. From now on our position should be whaaa, whaaa. I want my mommy.
57 posted on 12/07/2003 3:31:19 PM PST by Doe Eyes
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To: Incorrigible
There's hope from other angles. Check out what the Russian's have been up to. SICK1
58 posted on 12/07/2003 3:33:25 PM PST by sick1 (MENOCVC)
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To: Incorrigible
Key points:

Today, more than 70 percent of infections acquired in a health- care setting are resistant to at least one antibiotic.

Hospitals, where patients with compromised immune systems offer an ideal breeding ground for germs, began to see infection rates soar. Today, more than 70 percent of infections acquired in a health- care setting are resistant to at least one antibiotic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from nosocomial, or hospital-acquired, infections jumped from 19,000 in 1992 to close to 70,000 last year

While the article implies that the problem is widespread, the very fact that the great majority of these drug-resistant cases occur and spread in a hospital environment argues for better hospital procedures where ordinary antiseptic measures are too often neglected.

Go to Tractor Supply and you can buy horse needles and Penicillin in bulk like farmers do; if the bacteria are so far ahead of the antibiotics, why isn't there a crisis in animal care, or better yet, why haven't we heard of it if there is?

The most bothersome part of this story is that it is put out by a layperson, not by a medical journal and it comes at a time when hospitals are under scrutiny for the great number of patients lost to simple sepsis.

Perhaps Americans overuse the system.

Science has no choice but to go on trying to kill these germs or to give up on the notion of curing patients.

59 posted on 12/07/2003 3:33:58 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: handk
I guess they're all quacks, eh?

In a word? Yes.

And your links are broken.

But I kind of like this ozone therapy page, which talks seriously about the benefits of pumping ozone up your ass several times a day.

60 posted on 12/07/2003 3:34:17 PM PST by Ichneumon
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