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CDC Official Predicts Antibiotics Could Vanish

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Living in a world without antibiotics seems unthinkable.  However, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the health community had better start thinking about such a scenario.

Interviewed by PBS' Frontline, Dr. Arjun Srinivasan alleges the overuse of antibiotics to treat what were once treatable infections is to blame for fueling the "fire of bacterial resistance."

According to Srinivasan, "The more antibiotics we put into people, we put into the environment, we put into livestock, the more opportunities we create for these bacteria to become resistant."

The doctor contends that up to half of all antibiotics used in clinics and hospitals "are either unneeded or patients are getting the wrong drugs to treat their infections."

He maintains that overuse of antibiotics would be reduced if health professionals simply followed simple procedures such as hand-washing and wearing gowns and gloves in clinical settings.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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