Medicine: Those Overworked Miracle Drugs

More and more antibiotics are less and less successful

In the 1940s, when penicillin came into wide use, it was seen as the miracle drug to save the world from pneumococcal pneumonia, an infection that then had a mortality rate as high as 85%. But as more and more antibiotics came into use, nature fought back, creating more resistant bacteria. When first used, penicillin was nearly 100% effective against the most prevalent Staphylococci aureus that spread hospital-related infection among patients. Today the drug is far less effective. Both tetracycline and penicillin, once used to...

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