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Posts tagged ‘antibiotic’

Superbugs: How Does This Happen?

Just today news reports confirm a new strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria that has been detected in three individuals living in the United States. The speculation as to the reason this happens ranges from people saving antibiotics and self treating, not finishing antibiotics so resistant strains develop, over-use of antibiotics for viruses which they are ineffective against, the food supply in the United States pumped full of antibiotics to prevent infection (these are the same antibiotics given to humans), and the conspiracy theories also abound including plans to control the population with as much success as bubonic plague in the Middle Ages and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

Now first I’d like to stress, before getting into the nitty gritty the intensely important need to wash your hands, often. Avoid antibacterial soaps too, they also help to create superbugs. Good old fashion soap and warm water, scrubbing in between your fingers and under your nails for 15-20 seconds is sufficient. We tell people to sing the ABC’s or Twinkle Little Star, any short song that lasts at least 15 seconds. You would be amazed the amount of bacteria present on fomites (inanimate objects that people touch and are a source of transmission of bacteria or viruses). Another problem is hand washing after using the bathroom, many of us wonder how anyone could leave the bathroom without washing their hands but you would be surprised. E. coli for instance is transmitted via the fecal-oral route and is a normal flora in the human large intestine, contaminated food is usually grown in contaminated water but you can also get it from touching a surface after someone else didn’t wash their hands and then you forgot to wash your hands and ate a sandwich. Also E. coli is the biggest culprit in urinary tract infections so females should wipe from front to back and be sure to shower daily (avoid baths you are truly swimming in bacteria). Now this bacteria is a hospital acquired bacteria (or nosocomial infection) so chances are you don’t have to worry about this affecting you unless you go to the hospital sometime soon. Back to the story at hand…


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