Antibiotic resistance and the dangers of superbugs

Harvard Healthcast DocTalk: Leaving the doctor without an antibiotic

The bacteria that cause disease are remarkably resilient and can develop ways to evade the drugs meant to kill or weaken them. This phenomenon is called antibiotic resistance and it is due largely to the growing, and often careless, use of antibiotics.

Today, bacterial infections in the United States and throughout the world are becoming resistant to the drugs we rely on to treat them. Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world's most pressing public health problems. The smart use of antibiotics is the key to controlling the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria and the rise of superbugs—bacteria that cause infections that are difficult if not impossible to treat.

In this podcast Dr. John Ross, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, talks about how antibiotic resistance occurs, the dangers of superbugs, and what you can do to protect yourself. Dr. Ross is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases and is a practicing physician at Harvard affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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