On Monday the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an extensive report about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance in the United States. The report details the risks, prevalence and national impact of 18 different superbugs, including MRSA, rating each according to level of concern. The report also outlines what can be done to combat these growing threats.
Antibiotic drugs are becoming less effective against MRSA each year, but there are ways to slow and even reverse this trend. Last week CNN did a story about yet another emerging superbug called CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae). This bacterial infection has been around for a while, but this new strain is resistant to many of the most powerful antibiotics and has been spreading in hospitals over the last 10 years.
Water-borne bacteria are picking up the ability to resist antibiotics. Particularly notable are the “Vibrios” type bacteria which as a group, are responsible for seafood poisoning and gastroenteritis or cholera.
The Vibrios group of bacteria are the leading cause of seafood-borne illness and death in the United States and are a public health issue around the world. Most Vibrios bacteria cause gastroenteritis, but they can also infect open wounds and cause blood poisoning. Scientists have found these water-borne bacteria are becoming resistant to many types of antibiotics. Why is that?
If you’ve ever taken antibiotics that don’t work, then you know about antibiotic resistance in a very real and personal way. I still remember the frustration of enduring antibiotic after antibiotic with all their side effects with no benefit at all.
While I love natural remedies, there are times when antibiotics can be the best treatment option for a severe infection. With MRSA on the rise, it’s more important than ever that these powerful drugs do their job when we need them to.
The term MRSA virus gets used quite a bit to describe MRSA infections. Unfortunately, this term is not only inaccurate, it can also cause crucial misunderstandings about what MRSA is and how it’s treated.
Basically, MRSA is a bacteria, not a virus. Common examples of bacteria that can cause infections are MRSA, Staph, Strep., E. coli, Salmonella and C. difficile. Some of the most common viruses are hepatitis, herpes, HIV/AIDS, the flu and the common cold.
MRSA, miracle drugs and mighty mutations
When they were first discovered and used for treating infections in the 1940’s, antibiotic drugs were hailed as “miracle drugs”. And they were! They saved countless lives, and thank goodness we had them. Because antibiotics worked so well, doctors began prescribing them heavily instead of the natural treatment methods that were more common at the time.
Within the first couple years, bacteria mutated and began to learn how to resist these drugs. They started “fighting back” and became immune to the very drugs created to kill them. Thus the problem of antibiotic resistance was borne.