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Nightmare bacteria

Nightmare bacteria target seniors

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 by: Sandeep Godiyal
Tags: nightmare bacteria, seniors, antibiotic resistance

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(NaturalNews) So-called "superbugs," such as MRSA, that are resistant to antibiotics are sweeping through healthcare settings. This puts already vulnerable populations at greater risk for complications in places such as hospitals and nursing homes. Doctors are concerned that they do not have the tools and resources needed to help their patients avoid succumbing to these ills.

Chilling CDC Findings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), headquartered in Atlanta, GA, recently found that 4 percent of the hospitals in the United States harbored the bacteria carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE). This family of bacteria naturally occurs in people's intestines. It was also found in 18 percent of the nursing homes tested across the country.

Antibiotic Resistance Means High Death Rate

Resistant to those strong antibiotics that doctors typically fall back on for particularly virulent bacterial infections, CRE has a death rate of about 50 percent of those that become infected with the bacteria. It is spread easily from patient to patient, which is why it is so dangerous in healthcare settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals. It usually spreads due to the poor hygiene habits of the caregivers of the people who are infected.

Widespread Antibiotic Use Suspected as Culprit

Antibiotic use over the past 70 years has made remarkable strides in the lifespan of humans, as well as their general quality of life. These days, however, doctors, as well as their patients, are experiencing the backlash of what amounts to the overprescription of these types of medications. A key sign of this issue is that the drugs no longer work to stop the infections today that they could have easily stopped just a few years ago. This leads scientists to believe that these bacteria have adapted in order to survive and become even stronger.

The CRE Family

CRE is not some rare, obscure bacteria. In fact, just the opposite is true. E. coli is one well known bacterium in the enterobacteriaceae family. Some of the common illnesses that CRE can cause include pneumonia, wound infections, urinary tract infections and bloodstream infections.

A Decade of Drug Resistance

The issue began to be a problem just in the past 10 years. According to PBS' Frontline, there is a primary gene that is at the root of the issue. This gene, named NDM-1, has been shown to be able to jump from bacteria to bacteria, making it very difficult for doctors to treat with their arsenal of antibiotics. This includes those antibiotics, called carbapanems, that are considered to be the last resort in the fight against antibiotic-resistant infections.

Prevention is key to helping prevent the spread of CRE. This means that healthcare providers should wash their hands frequently and wear gloves when coming into contact with blood or other bodily fluids.






About the author:
Sandeep has written many health field articles for both Internet and print publication. He currently writing for insurancetips4u.co.

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