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philnotfil
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WaPo

quote:
A dangerous germ that has been spreading around the country causes more life-threatening infections than public health authorities had thought and is killing more people in the United States each year than the AIDS virus, federal health officials reported yesterday.

The microbe, a strain of a once innocuous staph bacterium that has become invulnerable to first-line antibiotics, is responsible for more than 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated.

Although mounting evidence shows that the infection is becoming more common, the estimate published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association is the first national assessment of the toll from the insidious pathogen, officials said.

"This is a significant public health problem. We should be very worried," said Scott K. Fridkin, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC.


quote:
The MRSA estimate is being published with a report that a strain of another bacterium, which causes ear infections in children, has become impervious to every approved antibiotic for youngsters.

"Taken together, what these two papers show is that we're increasingly facing antibiotic-resistant forms of these very common organisms," Bancroft said.

The reports underscore the need to develop new antibiotics and curb the unnecessary use of those already available, experts said. They should also alert doctors to be on the lookout for antibiotic-resistant infections so patients can be treated with the few remaining effective drugs before they develop serious complications, experts said.


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Colin JM0397
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And yet we continue to get antibiotics prescribed for every little cut and cough...

For example, I had a little (about the size of a standard #2 pencil eraser) skin growth thing taken off my cheek a few months ago… It wasn’t that deep – just through all the skin levels, and then the doc had to extend the incision a bit laterally to get the margins to line up, so I ended up with about a 2 inch cut with several micro stitches… Not much more than a scratch to me and certainly not very deep.

I went home with a prescription for antibiotics and a major pain killer (don’t recall which). I didn’t bother to get either filled. It barely hurt and healed just fine. I’m in the habit of refusing to fill my prescriptions any more unless it’s something I really need.

And, no, I'm not a Doc nor do I work in the medical field, but I know and listen to what my body tells me health-wise and I am almost never sick (minor sniffles and cough a few times a year is it).

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kenmeer livermaile
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Some folks heal better than others, you know.
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Redskullvw
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This is why you don't take children, infants, or elderly people to hospitals. Its why yo don't wear open toed shoes when you go to a hospital. Its why you wear long sleeved shirts and pants when you go to a hospital. And its why you should keep your visits to hospitals as brief as possible, minimize your contact with surfaces, and observe the visiting hours. Its also why it is best to not eat in a hospital or bring food from outside the hospital up to a patients room.

MRSA is a fact of life in hospitals. We get the MRSA scare every few weeks. Most of the time when we are dealing with them, Angela's entire kit- including shoes go straight into the washer machine the moment she enters the house.

The number of people wearing flip-flops into hospitals would vanish if people saw MRSA in action.

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Mynnion
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Great points. What is even more scary is that MRSA is only one of the super germs. There is also VRE (vancomycin Resistant Enterococci) and resistant TB. This is only going to get worst as antibiotics are over prescribed and fed like candy to animals to fatten them up.

What is really sad is there was some fantastic research conducted in the Soviet Union before the fall into Bacteriphages. These are viruses that target bacteria. These have the potential of being engineered to attach a number of different organisms. The following post provides a good description.

Phage Homepage

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RickyB
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OK, this crap just arrived here. How is it (not, hopefully) contracted? Open wounds and the like?
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Funean
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A friend of mine who's a surgical nurse says whatever you do, avoid staying in a hospital, particularly if any part of your body is going to be opened in any way. She says they're the filthiest places on earth, as far as pathogens are concerned.

She advocated that any procedure that couldn't be done as an outpatient procedure in the doctor's office be handled in a "surgi-center" (which I gather is a wee little hospital whose only function is surgery and immediate post-op care) and that you get home to the germs you're used to as quick as possible.

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Mynnion
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Hey Ricky, the super bugs have always been with us. The problem is that over use or misuse of antibiotics as well as the use of hospitals has contributed to creating immunity. It is actually kind of Darwinian (the antibiotics kill the weak and only the mutated survive). Anyone that is sick enough to end up in the hospital has the potential to act as an incubator for these bugs especially if they happen to be immunocompromised.

Staph is primarily transmitted via skin (particularly when hand washing does not occur) to skin. Staph can then enter any break in the skin. These bacteria have the ability to adapt faster than the drug companies can develop new meds. E. coli has the ability to divide every 20 minutes and grow exponentially. Scary thought.

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Jesse
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The other line of defense?

Stay as healthy as you can as long as you can. Reduce stress, exercise, eat well, be well.

We've been fighting off infections without anti-biotics since...well...before two cells decided to form an organism.

But yes, stay the heck out of hospitals, don't have unnecessary surgery, and scrub well if you do have to visit someone.

My Granda went in for an elective back surgery, and was dead seven days later thanks to drug resistant pneumonia. 84 years old, and he was still doing his own yard work and walking five miles a day.

Can anyone explain why it's illegal for me to pop the Doctor who talked him into the surgery in the mouth, just once?

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RickyB
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Oy, I know exactly how you feel, Jesse... You can't pop him in the mouth, but you can stand outside his office/clinic and tell anyone who walks in "watch out, he'll talk you into elective surgery. My granddad died from it". Do that for a couple of days and he'll pay you to go away. [Big Grin]
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Colin JM0397
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Or trade you for that pop in the mouth.
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WeAreAllJust LooseChange
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Quick question for people who are familiar with this:
Does the fact that most if not all major brand dishwashing liquid detergents (Dwan, Palmolive, etc.) and most if not all liquid soaps are labeled "Antibacterial" have anything to do with the spread of "drug resistant" bacterias?

Hmmm...

What a crazy idea?!? [Wink]

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Brian
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Actually, WAALC, any soap, by its very nature, is antibacterial. The marketing people exploited a loophole to make their product sound better.

Few, if any, detergents actually have ADDED antibiotics.

[ October 19, 2007, 08:17 AM: Message edited by: Brian ]

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Mynnion
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Several PA schools were closed down to sanitize this week because of MRSA. How long before Merck or Bayer come out with an effective antibiotic that costs a small fortune? I am sure it will fast track through the FDA when they do.
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