04 Nov First Woman in US with Superbug Bacteria
NEW ORLEANS — A Pennsylvania woman was treated by doctors and is well now, but her infection is raising serious concerns for U.S. health officials.
They want to know how super bacteria, that are resistant to a powerful antibiotic, got in her digestive system.
We are exposed to antibiotics through many sources. There are prescriptions and they are given to the animals whose meat we eat. Overuse has caused the bacteria to change their genetics so the antibiotics are less likely to work.
“And the concern here is that minor infections, that typically were treated effectively with antibiotics, now may even become life-threatening,” said Dr. Fred Lopez, an infectious disease expert at LSU Health Sciences Center.
Bacteria that were discovered in a woman in Pennsylvania with a urinary tract infection were resistant to a powerful last-resort antibiotic called Colistin. They have also been found in other countries and in a U.S. pig’s intestines. The woman’s infection was not resistant to some other types of antibiotics. It has not been released if the woman was treated with one of those. Doctors say you should use antibiotics only when necessary.
“Many of the respiratory tract infections, for example, bronchitis, do not require antibiotic use. Sinusitis in most circumstances does not require early use of antibiotic.”
Infection prevention is key. Practice hand washing with soap but you do not need antibacterial soap. Ask your doctor if antibiotics before elective procedures and surgery is necessary and proven to cut down on infections. Antibiotics do not help an infection caused by a virus.
“It’s been estimated, for example, that one in every three people receiving antibiotics is probably an unnecessary prescription of antibiotics,” explained Dr. Lopez.
Urinary tract infections are common and usually come from bacteria from your own colon. So it’s very important to cleans yourself from the front to the back, and also when changing a baby’s diapers.