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View Diary: The Next Influenza Pandemic (120 comments)

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  •  not with viruses (none)
    Antibiotics and resistance to same occur with bacteria -- single cell animals -- not viruses.

    Viruses are strands of DNA or RNA encased in protein coats.  They need host cells in which to replicate, so are not, in effect, alive.

    Issues of resistance are IMO the big elephant that we are not facing.  I remember back in '75 my father came home from work (he was a virologist/microbiologist) and said that they had encountered a resistant strain of pneumonia from a Viet Namese boat person (in London, Ontario Canada).  It scared the shit out of him because not only were the chickens coming home to roost with regards to ovr use and abuse of antibiotics, but also because his mother and sister had both died of pneumonia back in the 30s.

    Today resistant strains are ubiquitous in hospitals and apparently a far worse problem in the US than in Canada (according to my sister who is an Infectious Diseases specialist).

    We've had about half a century of relief from the little things that can kill us.   That will be the new old realit your children and grandchildren will face.

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