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Clueless doctors are still prescribing useless antibiotics patients testing negative for STDs


STDs

(NaturalNews) More than 75 percent of patients given antibiotics for a sexually transmitted disease (STD) actually tested negative for infections, according to a new study.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, who studied the medical records of more than 1,100 patients who were admitted to the hospital's emergency department (ED) with symptoms resembling those of gonorrhea or chlamydia.

The aim of the research was to determine the extent of unnecessary antibiotic use in cases of suspected STD infection.

The results of the study were presented at the 43rd annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

From an APIC press release:

"Genital cultures are commonly collected from patients with signs and symptoms of STDs; however, results are not immediately available, and antibiotics are often prescribed without a confirmatory diagnosis.

"Of the 1,103 patients tested, 40 percent were treated with antibiotics for gonorrhea and/or chlamydia; of those treated, 76.6 percent ultimately tested negative for having the STD. Of the 60 percent who went untreated, only 7 percent ultimately tested positive for either or both STDs."

Finding the balance

Doctors are faced with a challenge in treating suspected STDs. "We have to find the appropriate balance between getting people tested and treated for STDs, but not prescribing antibiotics to patients who don't need them," said Karen Jones, an infection preventionist at St. John Hospital & Medical Center. "There is a tricky balance between not furthering antibiotic resistance by over-prescribing, but also still getting people treatment for STDs they might have."

The researchers also sought to identify "clinical predictors" of actual STD infections:

"For example, in male patients, 60.3 percent with penile discharge and 57.5 percent with inflammation of the urethra tested positive for gonorrhea and/or chlamydia. In female patients, 25 percent with inflammation of the cervix and 27 percent with cervical motion tenderness tested positive for gonorrhea and/or chlamydia. Thirty-five percent of patients who disclosed they had more than one sex partner also tested positive for gonorrhea and/or chlamydia."

By identifying these predictors, unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions could be avoided for patients who don't have gonorrhea and/or chlamydia, according to Jones.

The rise of the superbug

Over-prescription of antibiotics has contributed to the rise of "superbugs" that are resistant to all antibiotics – a problem that could soon grow out of control, and with dire implications for humanity.

The recent discovery of bacteria in a U.S. patient that was resistant to even "last-resort" antibiotics is an indicator of just how serious the problem is becoming.

APIC 2016 President Susan Dolan said:

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of antibiotics prescribed in doctors' offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-based clinics in the U.S. are not needed. Improving the use of antibiotics is a national and international priority to help prevent antibiotic resistance which would threaten our ability to treat even the simplest of infections."

In response to the problem, the APIC has released an infographic with instructions for the public on how to help fight against the emergence of superbugs.

How you can do your part to address the problem

Keep in mind that antibiotics do not kill viruses – antibiotics will not cure the flu, colds, coughs, runny noses or most earaches.

Always finish taking all of any antibiotics prescribed to you – even if you start feeling better before they are finished.

Do not share or hoard antibiotics.

Do not take any antibiotics not specifically prescribed for you.

Do not pressure your doctor to prescribe antibiotics.

Have we reached 'the end of the road?'

We may be nearing "the end of the road" for antibiotic use, according to public health officials – a scary thought, indeed – but in the meantime it's important for doctors and the public to do their best to limit their use in the hope that we can stave off the emergence of superbugs until new antibiotics can be developed.

Natural methods for building resistance and fighting infection can eliminate the need for antibiotics in the first place – but of course Big Pharma would rather keep the public in the dark about that.

Sources:

ScienceDaily.com

AssociationsNow.com

WashingtonPost.com

APIC.org[PDF]

Science.NaturalNews.com

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