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Consumer Reports Health News
Date:10/30/2007

YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Welcome to Consumer Reports Health News for health and medical journalists. Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org cover issues pertaining to the efficacy and safety of prescription and non-prescription drugs (including natural medicines), mental health, diet and nutrition, food safety, and fitness. CR tests health and fitness products, rates the effectiveness and affordability of prescription drugs, and evaluates the claims made by drug companies and the health care industry --- all without commercial agendas or advertiser influence.

Copies of the reports highlighted below are available upon request.

DANGEROUS BACTERIAL INFECTIONS ON THE RISE

The November issue of Consumer Reports On Health features an in-depth report about the dramatic rise in bacterial infections with suggestions for consumers about what they can do to counter the trend and stay safe. Most antibacterial infections can be treated with at least one antibiotic. But there are emerging problems. For example:

-- Nearly 1 out of every 3 pneumococci--the bacteria responsible for many pneumonias--has become resistant to penicillin, and 1 in 10 is resistant to most other antibiotics.

-- An antibiotic-resistant strain of staphylococcus that triggers potentially deadly lung and bloodstream infections is spreading through hospitals in this country and, increasingly, into communities.

-- Few if any antibiotics work against a bacterium called Acinetobacter baumannii, which has infected the wounds of many soldiers returning home from Afghanistan, in some cases forcing doctors to amputate infected limbs.

Consumer Reports on Health notes that consumers have contributed to the growing crisis by not taking antibiotics properly and, in many cases, insisting that their doctor prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, such as the flu, ear infections, and the common cold, even though antibiotics work only against ba
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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