Antibiotics have been used for more than 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases. Since the 1940s, these drugs have greatly reduced illness and death from infection. However, antibiotics have been used so widely and for so long now that the drugs have become less effective. Organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.
On the next Mayo Clinic Radio program, Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, an infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic, will discuss antibiotic resistance and antibiotic allergies. Also on the program, Dr. John Wilkinson, a primary care physician at Mayo Clinic, discusses whether an annual exam is still necessary. And Dr. Edward Creagan, a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic, will explore how the high cost of health care is affecting patient's decision-making when it comes to treatment.
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