U.K. Department for International Development; Esnart Wisted (CC BY 2.0)

Thousands fewer children die in sub-Saharan Africa thanks to regular antibiotics

Giving children in sub-Saharan Africa antibiotics saves tens of thousands of lives. That's the conclusion of a new study, in which researchers gave infants and toddlers from Malawi, Niger, and Tanzania broad spectrum antibiotics twice a year for 2 years. Overall, the antibiotics slashed death rates by nearly 14% and particularly helped 1- to 5-month-olds, whose mortality rates plummeted 25%, researchers report in The New England Journal of Medicine. Now, the World Health Organization will decide whether to advise routinely giving antibiotics to newborns, The New York Times reports. Though some are concerned about the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the study's authors say that risk is low.

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