SUPERBUGS AS A BLACK SWAN
By Karl Arnold Belser
13 November 2013




Recent articles about drug resistance, Superbug from WIred and  The antibiotic era is over, and we are cutting health care funding?, got my attention as another Black Swan.   In short many infectious diseases are no longer treatable. This has resulted in increased deaths from TB and malaria as well as the risk for pretty much all surgeries because of untreatable hospital infections. There is apparently little activity to develop treatments for these superbugs. 

The Reuters article Rising drug resistance threatens global progress against TB gives a good example of the problem. I note that on my return from southeast Asia last spring Kaiser required that I get a TB test, which was fortunately negative.

The CDC Home Page surprised me by not having a headline about the superbug threat. I had to search further to find a threat-report outlining the severity of the problem. This report is a large PDF document that might be hard to digest for an average person. This to me is a veiled indication of the lack of recognition in the United Sates of a superbug Black Swan.

I wondered if the lack of urgency of the superbugs threat was world wide.  So I searched on the WHO website. I found a better recognition in the video The Danger of Hubris on Human Health. The WHO site has a easier-to-read antimicrobial resistance fact sheet.

In ending this post, I want to give at least one encouraging idea, namely that nano technology might yield great medical results in the future that would in itself be a Black Swan.  See the article Multi-layer Nano Particles Lower Tumors' Drug Resistance Before Direct Attack. It is clear to me that human ingenuity may yield many surprising results once there is a sense of urgency.
   
Last updated November 29, 2013
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