ATLANTA – The bacteria that cause pneumonia, meningitis and other serious illnesses are becoming increasingly resistant to penicillin, federal health officials said Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in 1997, 25% of the illnesses caused by streptococcus pneumoniae organisms were resistant to the antibiotic. The rate was 14% in 1993-94. The data came from a CDC study of hospitals in seven states with a total population of 16 million. Dr. Daniel Feikin of the CDC said one of the leading factors in the increase in antibiotic resistance is overuse. “A lot of infections are viral and antibiotics don’t do anything for viral infections,” he said.
Source: USA Today
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