In consideration of your glaze-eyed tryptophan coma — at least among those who weren’t frightened off by the MRSA-in-turkey news — today’s post is mostly composed of brightly colored pictures. (Also, speculation. You’ve been warned.)
About a week ago, a nonprofit research group called Extending the Cure published the latest in a fantastic series of maps they have been producing for several years, based on public and privately collected data. Earlier iterations have looked at the incidence of various resistant organisms over time. This time, they decided to look instead at the major drivers of resistance, and focused on national data about antibiotic prescriptions, broken down by drug type and by state between 1999 and 2007.
The graphics they produced document both a troubling growth in the use of some precious (because still effective) antibiotic classes, and also a surprising differential in the amounts of antibiotics prescribed in different parts of the country. The rate of use of antibiotics, measured by outpatient prescriptions per 1,000 inhabitants, varied from a low of 533 in Alaska to a high of 1,214 in West Virginia. [Read more…]