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Constant vigilance the key in managing the drugs that battle the bugs

News of a bacterial strain resistant to the most powerful antibiotics recently grabbed headlines and produced dire warnings of an imminent threat to public safety. But in fact the bacterial attack has come not by blitzkrieg but in steady waves. It is in large measure the product of many years of indiscriminate use of medications once hailed as miracle drugs: antibiotics.

University of Colorado Hospital is among a growing number of health care facilities in Colorado and around the nation now fighting back by tightening its scrutiny of antibiotic use. Among the aims: narrow the bacterial targets, thereby decreasing collateral damage to other flora in the gut; and limit the duration of treatment to trim the opportunities for bacteria to develop resistant mutations.

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