Among the many things that people in industrialized countries today take for granted is that we will not die of a sore throat or infected scratch from a rosebush. Effective protection provided by antibiotics and other microbe-killers was not available 50 years ago, and a new report from the WHO* warns that if we continue current practices, such protection will not be available 50 years from now.
Drugs lose effectiveness because the microbes they fight become resistant. This natural process has been accelerated by human misuse of medicine. In poor countries the biggest problem is that people underuse drugs. They cannot afford a complete course of treatment, or take weaker and cheaper drugs. This kills off only the susceptible forms of the microbes, allowing the more resistant versions to remain and dominate.
In wealthy countries the problem is the opposite. Drug resistance has soared because antibiotics are overprescribed, used even when they are no good at all - for example, to fight colds. In addition, half of all antibiotics are produced for animal use, and the resistant microbes that they create can spread to humans.
Developed nations must drastically reduce antibiotic usage. The easiest place to start is to reduce the use of antibiotics to fatten animals. Patient education is also critical. Doctors need to resist demands for antibiotics from patients with colds. Most people alive today do not remember a world without anti-microbial agents, when the possibility of death lurked in every cough or upset stomach. If we do not reform our use of medicines, this is the world we might bequeath to our children.
*World Health Organization
*World Health Organization
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following sentences TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) In developing countries people do not take enough drugs because they are too expensive for them.b) It is absolutely essential that rich countries stop abusing drugs.
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas from the text, answer the following questions.
a) Why do people today think it is natural not to die from simple infectious diseases? PAR.1b) How can we contribute to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics? PAR.4
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Find the words or phrases in the text that mean:
a) a small cut (paragraph 1) > scratchb) survive (paragraph 2) > remainc) increased (paragraph 3) > soaredd) leave (paragraph 4) > bequeath
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
a) Some new anti-microbial soaps for domestic use contribute to drug resistance by killing (kill) only weak bacteria.b) Diseases that have once been easily cured (once easily cure) are now stronger than (strong) their medicines.c) Children should be vaccinated against infectious diseases.