Bacterial Apocalypse: One More End-of-the-World Scenario to Worry About
Every day there seems to be yet another doomsday scenario unleashed in the news headlines. While some enemies are easier to recognize, others are more subtle, but no less deadly. Those hidden enemies, both a threat to individuals as well as the world’s population, are known as deadly bacteria. Is it possible that the world could end not by bullets, bombs, or nuclear weapons, but rather through infection and an out-of-control pandemic?
Here is what you should know about the possibility of a bacterial apocalypse and its potential for threatening life as we know it.
What is a bacterial apocalypse? Simply put, it is when harmful bacteria gets so out of control that we are unable to stop it. Bacteria can get out of control by multiplying and spreading without human beings being able to fight back through their immune systems or with antibiotics.
Antibiotics are used specifically to treat microscopic bacteria, but are not effective against viruses. Typical antibiotics include Amoxicillin, Penicillin, Tetracycline, and many others. Penicillin was the first
antibiotic ever developed.
How could a bacterial apocalypse happen in today’s day and age? Easily, it turns out. According to James Gallagher of BBC News, there are two main problems that could herald such a terrifying and deadly event.
First, bacteria can become resistant to drugs used to fight their spread. As a drug is used against them, they evolve so they can survive and continue to multiply. Therefore, it is imperative to have plenty of
drug iterations on hand so bacteria cannot continue to ravage human bodies unchecked.
That leads us to the second point, which is lack of antibiotic development. Gallagher notes that there have been no new antibiotics unveiled since the early 1980s. What’s more, the ones that exist have
been used so often, and in such improper ways, that humans have helped make many bacteria resistant to the existing drugs out there.
Many people have used antibiotics for the wrong purposes, thinking that they can be effective for colds or flu. It is the misuse of these medicines and an increase of bacterial resistance that could ultimately
lead us into a war with bacteria, leading to untold deaths and devastation to the human population.
How likely is a bacterial apocalypse? Likely, but not guaranteed. In order to prevent a bacterial apocalypse, first and foremost we need to avert the threat by introducing new drugs to which humans are not yet
resistant. Without drugs that provide the shield of resistance against disease, our chances for such an apocalypse increases.
According to an article in New Scientist, bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics is becoming more prevalent.
In fact, in some areas it is not managed or controllable, and the problem keeps worsening.
Even more troublesome, while new medication could stop the spread and avert a bacterial apocalypse, there are many options standing in the way of progress – namely in the form of unwieldy regulations and the cost involved in developing such medicine.
Although a bacterial apocalypse is possible, chances are it will not happen. With the advances in biotechnology and health care, the world’s defenses against such an event are many. To engage those defenses, though, we will need to lessen the roadblocks to the development and release of new antibiotics so they can get to the public as quickly as possible. In addition, the focus should be on guarding the public’s
health rather than comparing which drug development paths are more profitable.
To do your part to help prevent a health catastrophe, be sure to get all your vaccinations, consult with your doctor on a regular basis, take medicine as directed (and only as directed), and stay aware of
developing events concerning bacteria and viruses. In the end, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Contributor: Bev Sninchak is a veteran freelance writer with 16 years of experience producing content for a variety of publications. She writes about many subjects, including online business marketing methods and
successful business personalities, such as David Kiger of Worldwide Express.
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