Letter: Stop "Cipro-mania"
October 23, 2001
I was annoyed to learn today that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has fallen prey to the “Cipro Mania” sweeping the country. He is now calling for emergency suspension of Bayer’s patent on Cipro, one of several antibiotics used to treat anthrax. He cited a need to reassure the public of adequate supplies of Cipro as a rationale for this action.
A far better way of reassuring the public is to publicize the fact that Cipro is only one of several antibiotics that can be used to treat both skin and inhaled anthrax infection. (Yes, even plain, boring penicillin is quite useful, and there is no shortage.)
Anthrax has caused one death in the U.S. With appropriate use of antibiotics, it is curable. On average, influenza is associated with 20,000 deaths annually and no cure exists. Stop worrying about stockpiling Cipro and get your flu shot.