According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic resistance is quickly becoming what World Health leaders are calling a nightmare bacteria that poses a catastrophic threat to people in every country in the world. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.
In addition, hundreds of thousands more become infected with Clostridium difficile when hospitalized, an infection usually related to antibiotic use. Around 14,000 will die each year. This is a tragedy since these deaths could be prevented.
Bacteria learn how to outsmart antibiotics. Resistant bacteria can multiply and spread rapidly, causing severe infections.These rouge bacteria share genetic information with other bacteria, making them resistant as well. This greatly limits treatment options.
To further complicate matters for many people is the allergy factor. Millions of people are allergic to first-line-defense antibiotics. They are forced to take antibiotics that may not be strong enough to fight the bacteria.
Infections occur to any person, but most are spread through communities. Examples are sexually transmitted diseases and skin infections with MRSA. Healthcare settings are where most deaths occur due to resistant bacteria.
What You Can do to Help Stop Resistant Bacteria:
Don't demand antibiotics every time you feel ill. Antibiotics are not needed for every illness. When you are prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed and continue until you finish the entire prescription. If you don't take the full dosage, the bacteria can come back twice as virulent and harder to treat.
Always wash hands before eating and after bathroom use. Wash hands after handling uncooked meat. Cook all meat until thoroughly done.
Insist your doctor wash his hands before examining you. If your doctors takes samples for testing, but gives you antibiotics in the meantime, stop the treatment when test results show antibiotics are not needed.
Strengthen your immune system. Eat healthy foods and greatly limit processed foods, sweetened sodas, foods with empty calories and those that have little nutrient value. Don't attempt to wipe out all possible bacteria from the home. Exposure to some germs is necessary for the immune system to build a better, stronger defense.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, phone: (800-232-4636)