The Persistence of Resistance

Maryn McKenna:

On the good-news side, they found that antibiotic use — a driver of antibiotic resistance particularly when the use is for diseases that don’t respond to antibiotics — is dropping across the country, by 17 percent when averaged for all the states.

But on the not-good side, they found that the trend is far from uniform. In Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and West Virginia, antibiotic use either dropped so minimally that the change was insignificant, or actually increased. Compare that to Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota and Vermont, where antibiotic use sank by as much as one-third over that same period.

Cutting the data another way: Per capita, people in Kentucky and West Virginia take twice as many antibiotics every year as people in New Hampshire or Colorado.

Don’t miss the antibiotic resistance maps she links to.

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