Dealing With Resistant Strain Bacteria
At the turn of the Twentieth Century, the most common cause of death was from infectious diseases, such as Pneumonia, Tuberculosis and Influenza. Infant mortality was high worldwide and the treatment for sexually transmitted diseases such as Syphilis was almost non-existent. With the development of Penicillin, subsequent antibiotics and vaccinations for diseases such as Polio, in the early part of the century, everything changed. Life span increased and the “mechanical diseases”, such as Heart Disease and Cancer, became the leading cause of death.
Currently, we have come full circle to infectious diseases as a leading cause of death, not only in the Third World but in industrialized countries that benefited most by the development of, and access to, antibiotics. These very same products whose overuse is now causing emergent antibiotic resistant strains of commonly seen bacteria such as Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) . Staph Aureus exists everywhere, the house, the street, all surfaces that we touch and come in contact with.
According to Wikipedia, Staphylococcus Aureus which means “Golden Cluster Seed” and also known as golden staph, is the most common cause of staph infections. It is a spherical bacterium, frequently living on the skin or in the nose of a person, that can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections, such as pimples, impetigo, boils, cellulitis and abscesses, to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, meningitis, endocarditis, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and septicemia.
Today, S. Aureus has become resistant to many antibiotics. The resistance is a naturally evolving process which develops when an organism, repeatedly exposed to an antibiotic or antiseptic, adapts through a process of natural selection.
If a kitchen counter is cleaned with one of those common Anti-microbial bacterial agents, as Ultra Palmolive with lemon abstract, perhaps 98% of the bacteria is killed. It’s the 2% not killed that we have to worry about. They will be the ones who reproduce and replenish the 98% that was killed, and do so rapidly.
By over using the counter products too frequently, the surviving 2% have an opportunity to develop strategies of survival usually associated with a gene that affects its life cycle to resist the anti-microbial agent. This principle can also be applied to using antibiotics too often, giving the bacteria the opportunity, through repeated exposure, to develop resistance. This is what has happened with the current wave of deaths due to increase in MRSA. Not all the resistant strains of S. Aureus are as lethal as the one currently identified in the news, which has been found most frequently in medical situations such as hospitals and clinics where proper sanitary measures such as washing hands is not being followed.
When urinary catheters, IV’s are not frequently changed, or patients develop bed sores, it indicates that hospitals, and workers, have not followed proper procedures. Hospitalization stays increase, escalating the cost of medical care.
Medicare has recently announced that it would not pay for the costs of medical care due to illnesses that could have been prevented by taking proper sanitary precautions. This is a very supportable position for anyone who has been inside a hospital, clinic or ER. This is the first sign that attention is being paid to prevention. It should be encouraged only as the beginning of a comprehensive approach to medical care by developing a system that is accessible to everyone, encouraging annual examinations, proper prenatal care, and appropriate training of all medical staff on prevention of nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections.
We live in a pill-popping society that has something for every kind on pain imaginable, while pharmaceutical companies continue to advertise their products on television to encourage the patient to pressure their doctors to prescribe them, while claiming that what “they” encourage is “patient education.”
Antibiotics, outlawed in other countries, continue to be used in livestock feed to insure larger and reliable food supply, without regard to how second-hand antibiotics might effect the development of resistant strains of diseases.
If we use antibiotics only when they are needed, and anti-microbial agents appropriately , to delay adaptation, we will have time to develop other antibiotics and antimicrobials that might be useful. But this can only happen if everyone understands their own responsibility in being part of this strategy. If all life adapts then this will be an ongoing struggle.
The Medical and Pharmaceutical industry has controlled the agenda for too long. It is time for the American public to inform its government that the time has come for a re-haul of the system. Enlightened economists, politicians, physicians, biologists, chemists, epidemiologists, Architects and the public must step forward and accept responsibility to put together some new ideas and strategies to deal with the health care crisis occurring on every continent. Microbes will not be fooled by political games. They will continue to adapt and grow, outwitting all the advances current medical technology develops, while transportation technology allows intercontinental travel in less than a day to spread strains from one part of the world to another. Medical care is not only an American problem, it’s a world problem. Time is running out.
Prudent measures to abide by:
- Frequent washing of hands.
- Use several different antimicrobial cleaners and rotate them, to avoid Adaptation
- Have a well equipped First Aid Kit with appropriate product such as sterile gloves to clean and properly cover wounds.
- Have periodic dermatological exams to have all skin surfaces examined regularly.
- Avoid the Emergency Room unless absolutely necessary. They are a cesspool of undiagnosed diseases. It would be far better to be treated on an outpatient basis then sitting in the ER for hours while coughing patients spit up all sorts of things into the air and on the ER surfaces.
- Use antibiotics only as directed by your physician, once appropriate wound culture and antibiotic testing has been completed, rather than being treating presumptively.
- All these methods can help reduce the ocurrance of resistant strain Bacteria.