Thursday, March 27, 2008

A short history of our war on germs

A few years ago the World Health Organization published this anonymous bit of doggerel titled “The History of Medicine.”

  • 2000 B.C. – Here, eat this root.
  • A.D. 1000 – That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
  • A.D. 1850 – That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
  • A.D. 1920 – That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
  • A.D. 1945 – That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin.
  • A.D. 1955 – Oops . . . bugs mutated. Here, take this tetracycline.
  • 1960-1999 – 39 more “oops.” Here, take this more powerful antibiotic.
  • A.D. 2000 – The bugs have won! Here, eat this root.
From: Drug Resistance Explained

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