Antibiotic Apocalypse

Gallagher, James. “Analysis: Antibiotic Apocalypse.” BBC News. BBC News, 19 Nov. 2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.

In this article, the author helps readers imagine what a world without antibiotics would look like. Antibiotics help keep the diseases that once ran rampant and killed indiscriminately in check. Antibiotics also do more than help people get over illnesses, they are an extremely important part of surgery. Without antibiotics protecting the body, surgery will become much more deadly as the body is opened up and exposed to the outside world. Antibiotics are also an important part of chemotherapy. Without antibiotics, those who have undergone chemotherapy and developed weakened immune systems would be unable to fight off diseases. Antibiotics are an essential part to many aspects of modern healthcare and without them, the future of medicine will look very grim. Most modern bacterial diseases can be treated by the antibiotics we currently have, but there have been strains of bacteria that have proven too resistant for all antibiotics. Luckily, these strains are quite rare, but as more and more bacteria develop resistances to antibiotics, they will become a common occurrence. Worst case scenario, our world could become “like the world in the 1920s and 30s” where any open wound or cut could be a gamble with death. Globally, countries are bracing for occurrences of drug-resistant bacteria as they fear that it is too late to do anything about it. Prof Neil Woodford, from the Health Protection Agency’s antimicrobial resistance unit, illustrates this in his statement that “Antibiotic resistance in some parts of the world is like a slow tsunami, we’ve known it’s coming for years and we’re going to get wet.” The wide use of all forms of antibiotics will eventually lead to disaster, as only a few strong antibiotics form our final line of defense. New antibiotics are being developed, but it is a race against time and the evolution of bacteria to see if they can save us from ourselves.

The author of this article takes a very “doom and gloom” approach to the issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria. This makes his argument not as effective as it could be, as it focuses on what-ifs and potential doomsday scenarios. This argument is missing good scientific research and sources to give it credibility as a reliable source. However, the possibilities that the author suggest would be exactly what happens should antibiotics lose their effectiveness. It is important to view the issue of drug-resistant bacteria from a speculative perspective as well, so we have an idea of what to expect should the worst come to pass. Because this article is designed to invoke an emotional response rather than an intellectual one, it involves very few technical terms and focuses on negative speculation. Despite all this, it raises very good points about the future of antibiotics and what we can look forward regarding disease should nothing change.

This article will be a good addition to my research, as it asks many questions about the future of antibiotics and bacteria as well as providing possible scenarios. What will change about everyday life if antibiotics were no longer in the picture? Could diseases send mankind back to the stone age without antibiotics? While these questions are very negative, it is important to ask them and consider the possibilities that the future could hold. Asking these questions is the first step in adjusting our lives to avoid these types of scenarios. This article will allow me to prompt readers to consider their own lives and apply my arguments in ways that are familiar to them.

This final article is much more different than the research based articles about antibiotics. The author of this article speculates and focuses on worst case scenarios rather than providing insight into bacterial evolution and ways to correct it. However, that makes it just as important as the other two sources as it is very difficult to galvanize society into action using scientific terms. Invoking an emotional response and prompting prompting “what-if” questions is an important addition to any argument, as it will reach those that are unfazed by facts and information.

Article: Link

Connor Hill

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