Medicine: Cooling the Hot Staph

Almost as fast as new antibiotics are marketed, there evolve a few strains of disease-causing microbes that are resistant to the most potent germ killers. Recently, thanks largely to overuse and outright abuse of favorite antibiotics—especially penicillin—it has seemed that medical scientists were fighting a losing battle (TIME, March 24, 1958 et seq.). Now British researchers report that the microbes' advance can be checked by rigorously restricting the use of common antibiotics, and imposing the strictest discipline on doctors and nurses.

The enemy in this case (as in most U.S. outbreaks of in-hospital...

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