Green Buckeye RN

Philadelphia Inquirer: Who Gets the Antibiotics?
September 16, 2009, 10:25 am
Filed under: News

When the drugs are used in animal feed, scientists say, they lose effectiveness in humans. A new bill aims to curb such use; farmers oppose it.
By Karen Knee

At Temple University School of Medicine, a medical resident and avid bike rider in his late 20s noticed a nasty red swelling in his groin. A day and a half later, it had grown as big as a lime.

He went to the hospital, where doctors drained the abscess and cultured the bacteria in it. It turned out he had a powerful, drug-resistant infection called MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. He endured surgery, a round of intravenous antibiotics, and two relapses, but recovered fully before returning to treat patients.

Meanwhile, almost 30 miles to the north, Bucks County farmer Mark Scheetz, 42, starts his morning routine by making sure his herd of about 50 pigs has enough water and feed: a mixture of ground corn and soybean meal enriched with vitamins, minerals, and – every third day – terramycin, an antibiotic his veterinarian recommends for preventive use.

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