What is an antibiotic resistant bacteria superbug?
For the past 100 years, antibiotics the bacteria killing medications that have helped us to overcome the harmful bacteria that makes us sick. The problem is, these bacteria have evolved and changed. Sadly, these bacteria have become resistant to the present day antibiotics and have developed into “antibiotic resistant bacteria superbug”.
How does a bacteria change and become resistant?
When you are sick and visit the doctor, and you have a sore throat. You are diagnosed with strep throat. The doctor orders you a 10 day course of penicillin. You improve and feel better. In fact, the antibiotic has worked. But, there may be a few bacteria that have remained alive and linger in your body. For some reason, they built up an immunity, so to speak, against the penicillin. The next time you get a sore throat, the penicillin may not work.
The overuse and over prescribing of antibiotics when they are not necessary is the first problem. Many doctors order antibiotics when a patient may have a viral infection. You may also be unnecessarily exposed to antibiotics through the red meat you eat. Of course, a visit to a hospital or other healthcare setting can introduce a super bug to you through contact.
Some common forms of super bugs you may have heard about are:
MRSA Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
VRE Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci
CRE Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
Each year different antibiotic resistant bacteria superbug s infect over 2 million people in the US and kill at least 25,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Today, there are forms of tuberculosis,strep and staph infections that are now antibiotic resistant.
So what can you do to protect yourself from “superbugs”?
Stop the overuse of antibiotics. This starts with every individual. Do not run to the doctor and ask for antibiotics when you become sick. Viruses versus bacteria? click here
A simple and very effective way to prevent infections is good hand washing. The surprise here is that you should use regular soap, and not antibacterial.
Coughing and sneezing into your elbow, instead of your hands will stop the spread of disease.
Do not share personal items such as razors or towels.
Be aware of the food you eat and the use of antibiotics in the food chain.