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Deadly superbug shuts down ICU at major London hospital amid fears of infectious disease outbreak


Superbugs

(NaturalNews) Antibiotic overuse continues to take its toll on public health, this time in Great Britain, where a deadly new superbug is spreading throughout the country's intensive care units (ICUs). Reports indicate that the Candida auris fungus, which was first identified in Japan in 2009, has already infected more than a dozen patients at one London hospital, and dozens of others are said to be silent carriers of the disease.

Nearly 50 patients in the U.K. have thus far been identified as having contracted C. auris, with many more expected to follow in the coming weeks as the fungus is now being detected in places as far-reaching as South Africa, Kuwait, India, Colombia, Pakistan, South Korea and Venezuela. With a 60 percent mortality rate, experts fear that many people will die before the infection is finally brought under control – though it's unclear exactly how this will be accomplished.

The world-famous Royal Brompton Hospital (RBH) in London was forced to close its ICU for nearly two weeks back in June, after at least three patients died from multi-organ failure, a believed-to-be result of C. auris infection. Though the link between the three has yet to be definitively determined, the hospital decided to take a precautionary approach by transferring out its sickest patients and deep-cleaning the entire facility.

At least one patient at the hospital known to be carrying C. auris is now being treated in intensive care, as are two others who were colonized with the fungus, though they're being treated in a separate room from the infected patient. Meanwhile, other patients in need of surgeries and other care are having to wait until a plan of action is determined.

C. auris is UK's first multi-drug resistant superbug strain

What makes C. auris so problematic is the fact that it doesn't respond to the three most common forms of fungal treatment on the market, which means there's little that can be done conventionally to treat it once a person contracts it. And those most prone to contracting it are the already-sick – those in ICUs with serious health conditions that are often life-threatening.

A member of the same fungal family as thrush, C. auris is the U.K.'s first known multi-drug resistant superbug strain, and unfortunately it probably isn't the last, based on the way things are going. Health authorities warn that, like other forms of Candida, C. auris is easily contractible, entering a person's body through the mouth and genitals from infected surfaces and other people.

"It is very difficult to treat, not least because the treatment is so heavily toxic, and the patients are already so ill," says Professor Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, referring to the fungus' emergence as "really bad news" for critically ill patients.

As to a response, Prof. Pennington says health authorities need to act swiftly and smartly in order to avoid an outbreak of the kind already being seen with other deadly superbugs like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which is responsible for more than 11,000 deaths annually.

"This is how it started with antibiotic resistance in the 1940s – we didn't come down on it hard enough and it's important that we learn the lessons from that, which I think we are," he added.

Besides antibiotic overuse, pesticides and herbicides are also being linked to antibiotic resistance, with a recent study published in the American Society of Microbiology's mBio journal showing that two of the most common herbicides in use, 2,4-D and dicamba, are directly responsible for antibiotic resistance.

For more on how to keep your body clean of deadly fungi and other toxins, check out Health Ranger Select Organic Clean Chlorella.

Sources for this article include:

Telegraph.co.uk

CivilEats.com

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