If only we had antibiotics in 1918! ~ NanoThoughts 1.0

Saturday, October 08, 2005

If only we had antibiotics in 1918!

CNN.com - Witness to�1918 flu: 'Death was there all the time' - Oct 7, 2005: "Barry said vigilantes patrolled the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, making people wear their masks.
President Woodrow Wilson continued sending troop ships to Europe, something Barry describes as 'floating coffins.'
Treatment was limited in 1918 -- Carotty said people tried folk medicine, prayer, anything.
'There were no antibiotics, there was just hope that you'd get through, that fate was kind enough that it wouldn't hit you or yours,' he said."

I'm glad this historian took time to learn the difference between viruses and bacteria. What a dumbass.


DogSlaughter said...

The way I read that, it was the 98 year old Crotty who made the comment about having no antibiotics, not the historian John Barry.

Rog said...

Yes, you're right, Crotty did say it, but why would the historian include that in the book? Or maybe it was just the article author who included it in the column.

Either way, it's sloppy science reporting, because it implies that antibiotics would've helped during the 1918 flu epidemic.

I've even heard of MDs prescribing antibiotics for viral illnesses so it's not just the historians/journalists who are to blame.

DogSlaughter said...

Perhaps Barry (or the CNN article author) thought it was important to quote Crotty verbatim because he or she was trying to show the pandemic from Crotty's point of view. But I'll agree that a footnote or something should have pointed out the flaw in his statement.

On the subject of MDs prescribing antibiotics for viral illnesses, I think many doctors do that simply to pacify their patients, knowing good and well it won't help.

Rog said...

Yeah, his point of view is of someone who doesn't know what antibiotics are used for. That's all I was pointing out.

As for doctors, they should prescribe placebos instead of antibiotics as they are violating the Hippocratic oath if they knowingly prescribe antiobiotics to a non-infected patient.

Also, according to this article, many doctors don't believe in macroevolution, which is fine with me, but they had better believe in microevolution. And all the MRSA out there is certainly proof enough of that.