I believe that we have a serious problem in the world with the use and abuse of antibiotics, and I have detected a major problem in the consultation. When the paediatrician finishes his examination and tells the parents that the child has a virus and that he is not going to take antibiotics, I detect two things: one that the parents do not need to know that the infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites, and two that they may not know that antibiotics do not kill everything and that using them “just in case” has harmful consequences.
Here is an example of a cartoon to understand the famous antibiotic resistance due to its misuse…
Put two populations in your mind.
The first will be called BACTERIAS, some of the usual inhabitants of any country, some cooperative and constructive, others insubordinate and rebellious who are usually in small numbers and who, if you don’t provoke them, don’t attack you, but woe to you like the attacks!
Now comes the second population, the VIRUS, these are bad by nature, whenever they enter a country it is to damage it but, fortunately, the defenses of most countries beat them, and once defeated, no more damage.
Imagine now a country called the human body, populated by bacteria. The bacteria live in peace, without making too much noise or disturbing, each family of bacteria has at most one or two children.
On a cold winter’s day, a family of viruses invades a region of the country called Gargantaland. These new tenants are very annoying, and they destroy everything they catch, causing pain and tension in the Gargantuan land. They are extremely promiscuous and irreverent and they multiply, which makes them happy, or, rather, disgusting….suddenly the alarm bells go off in Grantland, there is an invasion by undesirables, the temperature of the country rises and it also feels intense pain.
The crisis cabinet of the country meets in that cabinet is the head of operations, an expert in the fight against undesirables (“pediatrician”) who has years of study and experience behind him and a layman in the matter but who is very afraid of the situation (“father or mother”). The boss suspects that the attackers are viruses and not bacteria, at the risk of making a mistake, he advocates that the state forces should do their job to eliminate the viruses from Grantland, he trusts in his criteria and in the good work of the country’s defenses. On the other hand, the layman pressures the boss to use the weapons (“antibiotics”), in case of the slightest possibility that the attack is caused by bacteria, he prefers to attack with all the artillery (“antibiotics” just in case the boss is wrong). The chief tells him that it is proven that the artillery does not affect the viruses and that if the attack is not bacterial as he suspects, they will kill good and bad bacteria. He explains the risks of misuse of weapons, “If we piss off the bacteria living in a truce, they can rise up and, alas for our country (human body) as they rise up.
Even so, the layman continues to put pressure on the boss, telling him that he prefers to use weapons, that if he makes a mistake the whole country will go for his head, and the boss gives in.
They appear in Grantland with weapons, and, as the boss predicted, the attackers were the viruses, and they were not destroyed with weapons (antibiotics), the bacteria, whole families, good and bad, began to die… but others, especially the bad ones, very angry at this unexpected and unjustified attack, managed to escape the attack. The situation had overflowed, the viruses were still breeding and destroying Grantland and the surviving bacteria took good note of the weapons (“antibiotics”), which were depleting their population. Days went by and, as the chief predicted, the state forces fought off the viruses, there was no longer any invasion….there was only a tiny population of very familiar bacteria left to devise a counterattack plan.
The plan was clear, to design defense strategies in case of new attacks, they were already aware of their enemies’ weapons and the next attack would not catch them off guard. As time passed, these bacteria continued to procreate and tell, from generation to generation to their little daughters, how to defend themselves and how to attack (only the strongest survived the antibiotic attack and passed on that strength to their descendants.
When they were already a sufficient number, they decided to attack the country that had long ago depleted them and produced an invasion in a river that reached all the regions of the country, this river called blood took them in quantity to a region called the brain. There they began to destroy all its inhabitants, called neurons, it was devastating. The forces of the state could not contain them, the human body was getting worse and worse, in danger of extinction.