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TIME: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Now Airborne

A recent study predicts that by 2050 about 10 million people will die each year as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections. Now, according to a new TIME article, the problem looks even more serious.

The author explains:

A new study says the DNA from antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in American cattle yards has become airborne, creating a new pathway by which such bacteria can potentially spread to humans and hinder treatment of life-threatening infections. …

… [Researchers] found the air downwind of the yards contained antibiotics, bacteria and a “significantly greater number of microbial communities containing antibiotic-resistant genes.

The bacteria are released into the air through dried cow feces “that has become dust and gets picked up by winds as they whip through the stockyards, and the study estimates that “the total amount released by cattle yards in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas exceeds 46,000 lbs. (21,000 kg) per day.

Sound terrifying? It should.

We can help stop the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by leaving meat off our plates.

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