Sometimes words just aren’t enough. Such is the case with the landmark report released 5 weeks ago by the World Health Organization that warned us we’re entering a post-antibiotic era in which common infections and minor injuries will once again kill us. The WHO says this is not an apocalyptic fantasy, it is now a very real possibility.
But reading about a “post-antibiotic era” is one thing, actually seeing it play out right in front of you is quite another. This is where Brad Pitt comes in. He narrates the Emmy-winning 6-part PBS documentary series, “RX for Survival – A Global Health Challenge,” that makes you an eyewitness to a world without antibiotics.
Watch, how without antibiotics, a simple scratch to a policeman’s face turns into a horribly disfiguring life-threatening condition where the bacteria eats through his body like a worm eating through an apple. Watch the raw emotion in Seattle teen Ryan Woerth as both antibiotics and surgery fail to fight his stomach infection and how his only option is to try an experimental antibiotic only available for “the most desperate patients.” Watch live footage of a 10 month old infant with pneumonia struggle to breathe, while his mother and doctors rush to find an antibiotic that could save the child’s life.
The Youtube video below is part 3 of the series, “Rise of the Superbugs.” Just after the 36 minute mark Brad Pitt says “Perhaps the most alarming threat is from the common Staph aureus.” We’re then introduced to Ricky Lannetti, a star college football player in Pennsylvania who just 1 week after winning his ninth game of the year is in the hospital fighting MRSA with heart, kidney, and critical care specialists at his side. And his disbelieving father who tells us, “He’s Ricky Lannetti. No little bug is gonna kill him. Not a bug. Not something that we can’t see.”
It’s harsh viewing. But it’s real. And it’s exactly what the WHO says we’re headed for because we’re losing our antibiotics.
Here’s the video: Rise of the Superbugs