Superbugs cause deadly conditions and illnesses such as sepsis and pneumonia, and the World Health Organization, W.H.O., is suggesting that a general overuse of antibiotics is leading to these illnesses being untreatable with antibiotics. Recently, the W.H.O. warned hospital infectious control professionals and pharmaceutical scientists about these drug-resistant superbugs that have come about in recent years.
An article from The New York Times dauntingly cites Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization’s assistant director general as saying, “We are fast running out of treatment options”. The same article states that the CDC has assessed that superbugs kill at least 23,000 Americans a year; to put this into perspective, nearly 38,000 Americans die in car crashes yearly. Even further, a study done of nearly fifty American pediatric hospitals discovered that drug-resistant infections in children have shockingly increased seven times over the past eight years. Six pathogens were reported as being high priority, and amongst those is MRSA, which poses a huge risk in hospitals and nursing homes.
An article from the British publication, The Telegraph, states that if antibiotics lose their ability to be effective, then common medical procedures such as organ transplants and c-sections could end up being too risky to undertake. These procedures that were once thought to be commonplace could end up being potentially fatal. Also stated is that the W.H.O. hopes that the information from this priority pathogens list will encourage governments to create new drugs to combat these superbugs. Some of these rare types of bacteria are resistant to all known antibiotics, and they typically attack people who have weakened immune systems; since they are so relentless, the victims of these types of bacteria usually die.
What can you do to protect yourself against these superbugs? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, advises that people only use antibiotics when necessary so that they don’t develop a resistance to antibiotics. For example, don’t save leftover antibiotics to take at a future date, don’t demand antibiotics from your physician when they say they’re not needed, and don’t take antibiotics prescribed for another individual.
If you or a loved one have acquired MRSA or another superbug as a result of being in a health care facility, please call my office for a free consultation as it is important to receive care and counsel for this type of condition immediately.