superbugs

SUPERBUGS

Superbacteria

NIAID

A popular online encyclopedia defines the term “Superbug” as…..

“……… a form of drug resistance whereby some (or, less commonly, all) sub-populations of a microorganism, usually a bacterial species, are able to survive after exposure to one or more antibiotics; pathogens resistant to multiple antibiotics are considered multidrug resistant (MDR) or, more colloquially, superbugs.”

In plain English, overuse of antibiotics creates bacteria that cannot be killed by antibiotics.  Scary stuff.  If you really want to freak yourself out, simply Google the term “Superbug” and see what comes up.  I promise you’ll be shocked.  Here are excerpts from just a few of the articles that have come out since the first of the year.
Sally Davies, the U.K.’s chief medical officer (a role equivalent to the U.S. surgeon general), warned Parliament that contagious antibiotic-resistant disease is an imminent crisis and should be included on the government’s official register of possible national emergencies, right next to terrorist attacks and natural disasters….   There are few public health issues of potentially greater importance for society than antibiotic resistance“. Antibiotic-Resistant Disease Crisis May Bring ‘Apocalyptic Scenario,’ UK Health Officer Says.  January 25, 2013 (Huffington Post)

The most recent study on health care-associated infections in U.S. hospitals, found that, out of about 1.7 million infections, nearly 99,000 patients died. According to one of the study’s authors, the vast majority of the deaths were due to superbugs.”   -Superbugs: A ticking time bomb, January 27, 2013 (CBS)

A family of ‘nightmare’ superbugs — untreatable and often deadly — is spreading through hospitals across the USA, and doctors fear that it may soon be too late to stop them, senior health officials [with the CDC] said Tuesday….   They’re resistant to nearly all antibiotics. They have high mortality rates, killing half of people with serious infections. And they can spread their resistance to other bacteria.”  CDC sounds alarm on deadly, untreatable superbugs, March 6, 2013 (USA TODAY)

Germs are perfect machines of evolution. Their ability to mutate and survive attempts (by humans and nature) to destroy them has led to some being called ‘superbugs’…..   According to medical experts, the main cause for the resistance is that antibiotics are increasingly given to patients for common viral ailments such as colds and flu, for which antibiotics are ineffective anyway.   Some 190 million doses of antibiotics are given in U.S. hospitals every day and nearly 133 million are prescribed daily by doctors in the U.S. according to the American College of Physicians. Half of the latter are considered unnecessary.”  Superbugs Are a ‘Costly War We Can’t Win, Thursday, April 4 2013 (CNBC)

More than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef collected from supermarkets for testing by the federal government [ the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System — a joint program of the Food and Drug Administration, the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] contained a bacteria resistant to antibiotics, according to a new report highlighting the findings…..   The numbers are pretty striking.  It really raises a question about the antibiotics we are using in raising animals for meat.”  Report on U.S. Meat Sounds Alarm on Resistant Bacteria, April 16, 2013 (New York Times)

Doctors are warning that a drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea could be more deadly than AIDS, and are urging members of US Congress to spend $54 million for the development of a drug that would fight it……  This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly.”  Worse than AIDS – Sex Superbug Discovered in Japan Called Disaster in Waiting, May 7, 2013 (RT.com)

How do you protect yourself from these so-called Superbugs?  It is not as difficult as you might think.  Let me explain by sharing a story from my childhood.  I grew up less than a mile away from a rural Kansas dump.  “The Dump” was the place that everyone hauled their garbage to.  It also happened to be a favorite place for a bored kid to periodically visit.  Nothing better to do?  Just ride your bike out to the dump.  You could shoot bottles with your BB gun, smash windshields of old cars, set fires, blow up aerosol cans, and find all sorts of wonderful treasures that people could only have thrown away by accident.   Oh; and the dump also had a lot of rats.

Think about this for a minute.  It is not difficult for us to grasp the fact that the dump did not somehow cause these rats, but instead attracted the rats to it.  You could have done whatever you wanted to do to get rid of these rats.  You could have poisoned them.  You could have shot them by the truckload.  Or you could even sick the dog on them.  The bottom line is that whenever you ceased your eradication methods, the rats would return —– quickly.  Why?  Because that’s the sort of environment they are attracted to.  And as long as their environment is intact, you’ll have rats.  One of the big mistakes of modern medicine is that they are trying to eradicate the rats in the dump —– without ever cleaning up the environment that attracted the rats in the first place.  This is known today as “THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS“.

Instead of helping sick patients deal with their diseases by attacking underlying causes (cleaning up the body’s internal environment via diet and lifestyle), far too may doctors act as though the problem is those dadgum germs.  And if germs are the problem, we already know the solution —– ANTIBIOTICS.  But if you know anything about the relationship between bacteria, GUT HEALTH, and the Immune System (HERE), you already know that over the long term, this is not only an exercise in futility — it is actually going to cause sickness and disease (HERE).

Think about it a different way for a moment.  Even in a MAJOR FLU EPIDEMIC, not everyone gets sick.  In fact, most of the time, not even the majority of the people get sick.  If the germ theory of disease were accurate and true, there would be no one around to teach it to; they’d all be dead!  People get sick not simply because they are exposed to germs —- we are all exposed to germs 24 / 7 / 365. They get sick because a weakened Immune System is easily overwhelmed (HERE). 

What does the average American do?  They run to the doctor’s office for more Antibiotics.   These Antibiotics do what they are supposed to do — kill bacteria.  Unfortunately, they kill / destroy the 80% of your Immune System made up of bacteria that is found in your gut (HERE).  Because your Immune System is further weakened, you get sick yet again.  The doctor prescribes more antibiotics.  Repeat ad infinitum.  This is why Antibiotics are, right along with crappy diets, arguably the greatest detriment to American health (HERE).

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