(NaturalNews) Newly published research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that doctor-prescribed antibiotics could be contributing to bouts of fatal diarrhea in children.
Scientists found that the majority of pediatric Clostridium difficile infections took place following a round of antibiotics, according to the agency. The infections led to severe bouts of diarrhea, some of which can prove to be fatal.
The CDC found that 71 percent of cases of C. difficile in kids between 1 and 17 years old were not related to an overnight stay in a hospital or healthcare facility. Alternately, the research found that two-thirds of adult infections were indeed linked to hospital stays.
As reported by Medical News Today:
The average human gut is home to over a thousand species of microbe. Kept in the right balance, these micro-organisms do no harm and the "friendly" ones even help with vital processes like digestion and protecting the gut.
But if the balance of these microbe populations is upset - by taking antibiotics, for example - there is a risk of losing vital protection from the beneficial bacteria. This allows C. difficile to grow out of control and release toxins that attack and inflame the lining of the gut, causing colitis.
Plain and simple, antibiotics are being over-prescribed
Among the "community-associated" C. difficile cases in children, 73 percent had been prescribed antibiotics at least 12 weeks before contracting an infection, the CDC said. They were most often prescribed them by a doctor or outpatient facility. The agency also said that in most cases the children were being treated for "wear, sinus, or upper respiratory infections."
"Improved antibiotic prescribing is critical to protect the health of our nation's children," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "When antibiotics are prescribed incorrectly, our children are needlessly put at risk for health problems including C. difficile infection and dangerous antibiotic resistant infections."
The agency has recently released new antibiotic recommendations and said it hopes to reduce outpatient prescriptions of those drugs by 20 percent, as well as C. difficile prescriptions by 50 percent, over the next five years. The CDC says that those kinds of reductions could decrease hospitalizations by 150,000 and save 20,000 lives.
Antibiotics are one of the most overprescribed medicines in history.
"As both a doctor and a mom, I know how difficult it is to see your child suffer with something like an ear infection," Lauri Hicks, D.O., director of the CDC's "Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work," program, said in the news release. "Antibiotics aren't always the answer. I urge parents to work with their child's doctor to find the best treatment for the illness, which may just be providing symptom relief."
As Natural News has reported, there are some better, non-medicinal alternatives to antibiotics or, perhaps more specifically, to the need for antibiotics. Check them out here: http://www.naturalnews.com.
Garlic, echinacea, colloidal silver, pau d'arco (an herb native to South America whose active ingredient, lapachol, has been found to relieve a wide range of infections including those initiated by bacteria, viruses and fungi) and manuka honey have all been considered natural antibiotics.
Natural News founder and editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has also warned that overuse of medicinal antibiotics has led to the creation of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and is likely to trigger the next global pandemic.
"The global abuse of antibiotics and the rise of drug-resistant superbugs has become an urgent issue of survival for the human race, and even mainstream medical experts are now describing microbiological doomsday scenarios if the situation isn't reversed," he writes. Check out his full report here.