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 Bioterrorism  Holistic-online.com

Bioterrorism and Antibiotics

Experts warn against hoarding antibiotics. 

While an anthrax attack would be devastating, it would be localized in scope to a single city or region. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) calls stockpiling antibiotics nothing short of "dangerous," since it would prevent the medications from reaching those patients who currently need them for pneumonia, skin infections, and other fairly common illnesses. They also express concern about the "mistaken administration to persons for whom these drugs would not normally be prescribed" -- specifically, pregnant women and children--because antibiotics such as Cipro can cause growth defects in small children and fetuses.

The experts offer the following advice on the use of antibiotics.

  1. Do not start taking antibiotics in advance of a suspected attack. To do so would not only exhaust your supply; it would offer no protection against a later attack. If an attack does not come.
  2. Do not use any antibiotic after the expiry date. After this time, the drug will be useless. Throw it out.
  3. If you take any antibiotic and feel ill, see your doctor immediately. Tell your doctor about the medicine you have taken. Like any drug, antibiotics can cause side effects. For ciprofloxacin, these might include rash, nausea and vomiting, or confusion.
  4. Antibiotics can react with other medications to make them ineffective or even toxic. Tell your doctor about the other medications you are taking.
  5. Do not exceed the normal daily dose of the antibiotic. More is not better.
  6. Do not use the antibiotics prescribed for anthrax to self-treat other illnesses. Each antibiotic is useful only for certain types of infections.
  7. Antibiotics should be started at the earliest warning of an attack in your immediate area. The correct dose of Cipro is 500 milligrams taken every 12 hours. Most experts agree that taking this dose, for at least 6-8 weeks, offers nearly 100% protection against most strains of anthrax.

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