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Valentine's Day: When love hurts

February 14, 2012 | 11:22 am

Heart
Was it just a coincidence that the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the one just before Valentine's Day, featured a warning about the rising incidence of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea? Some 1.7% of cases nationwide are resistant to the last line of drug defense, cephalosporins. That's 17 times more common than it was just six years ago.

With 600,000 gonorrhea cases per year in the U.S. (far more than newly reported cases of AIDS), Americans clearly have a long way to go when it comes to learning to love carefully. But in any case, the United States obviously has to do more to develop new strains of antibiotics. That's not a big priority for drug companies because antibiotics are difficult to develop and have low profit margins because they're not generally taken on a maintenance basis. As the Times editorial board discusses the issue for an upcoming editorial, what do you think the government should do, if anything?

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--Karin Klein

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