Part 3: Antibiotics in agriculture add to growing superbug threat

Part 3 of Contagion

Part 3: Antibiotics in agriculture add to growing superbug threat

In India and Canada, farmers give their animals antibiotics to fatten them up, prevent disease or treat sickness. Many farmers say antibiotics are critical to ensure the health and safety of their livelihood, but the practice also carries a dangerous cost for humans. Farmed animals use a staggering amount of antibiotics; in some countries, they consume more than people. Such unfettered use helps to create and spread superbugs, bacteria resistant to antibiotics responsible for killing an estimated 1.5 million people each year. The antibiotics animals consume can eradicate some bacteria, but allow strains that are drug-resistant to thrive and transfer to humans through meat or the environment, making people sick with sometimes fatal drug-resistant infections.

TOPICS:   National News

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