In recent news, superbugs have become more apparent in today’s world. What are superbugs? You ask. Superbug is a term that describes strains of bacteria that are generally resistant to antibiotics used today. With prescriptions and with some over the counter medications, antibiotic resistance can occur and is a natural occurrence. In an attempt to survive, bacteria adapt themselves over time to the drugs that are meant to kill and get rid of them. That is why treating a bacterial infection can sometimes lead to ineffectiveness.
Believe it or not, superbugs can be lurking anywhere. They can be found in the most common of places like restaurants, restrooms, nursing homes, clinics, and even hospitals to only name a few. That is why you will see health professionals at medical facilities using Hibiclens. Since superbugs can land on your skin, Hibiclens is used to cleanse the skin and is known to be effective for up to 24 hours.
Types of Superbugs
There are at least a handful of antibiotic-resistant superbugs today. For example, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is one of them. This type of bacteria is resistant to several antibiotics. It is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria and is very contagious. It can quickly spread through direct contact with a person who has the infection. Most often, MRSA can cause skin infections but it is also known to cause pneumonia and other infections.
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is another superbug that has high levels of resistance at antibiotics. It is said that these superbugs are an “emerging threat to the public”. A common bacteria associated with Enterobacteriaceae is Escherichia coli (E. coli). Serious infections caused by this type of bacteria are bloodstream infections, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia to only mention a few. CRE can be spread through person to person contact. Specifically, contact with wounds or stool.
Said to be a serious threat, the Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter is another superbug. This bacteria, typically found in soil and water, can live on your skin for days. This strain of the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria is normally found in healthcare settings like hospitals or intensive care units. It can spread through person to person contact or touching contaminated surfaces. This superbug can cause a number of infections including wound infections, pneumonia, and blood infections.
Now I’m not telling you to be the next “bubble boy or bubble girl,” but it sure does sound like a good idea after reading about some of those superbugs out there. In reality, we simply just can’t avoid being outside or around other people. We have to go to work, go grocery shopping, run errands, and take the kids to school. So, while we can’t avoid life, we certainly can take preventive measures to help us avoid these superbugs.
Washing your hands is one of the first and most effective ways in the prevention of acquiring infections and superbugs. Washing your hands after using the restroom, eating, or throwing out the garbage is always a must. Also wash your hands after being in contact with a sick person, touching doors or objects in public places, and after coughing or sneezing.
Animal-based food seems to be one of the reasons antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rise, rather the use of antibiotics as growth enhancers by the agriculture sector. It is recommended to seek labels that show the “USDA certified organic” label. This can be found not only on meat, but on eggs, poultry, and dairy products. This label tells consumers that the animal was not given any antibiotics. Which in turns, helps you avoid and prevent exposure to superbugs.
Another preventive measure against superbugs is by properly using and taking your prescribed medication. Specifically, antibiotic medication. Take antibiotics as prescribed by your health professional. Also, do not take leftover antibiotics from a previous prescription or illness. Additionally, it is recommended when you visit your healthcare provider, to not insist on asking for an antibiotic prescription right away. Take the necessary tests and wait for the results, instead. When the results arrive, you will be able to know what bacteria is affecting your body. This will determine the best medication for treating it.
Now that we have briefly discussed superbugs and what they are, it’s time to go out in the world and be more careful. Wash your hands, eat healthy, and exercise to help you avoid and prevent getting superbugs.