Super bugs are strains of bacteria that are resistant to different types of antibiotics. This has become a problem especially due to growing resistant of the bugs to antibiotics. It has also led to continuous research in the field of medicine to come up with stronger antibiotics. For over a century, antibiotics were being used to fight against harmful bacteria against which has been causing people to be sick. However, in the recent years, studies being carried have shown that these antibiotics are losing their power against the harmful bacteria. In fact, it has resulted to some bacteria being completely unbeatable by antibiotics. More use of antibiotics have unfortunately resulted to creating new drug resistance super bugs.
In every year, millions of people are infected by the drug-resistant bacteria and kill atleast 23,000. Another reason for increased super bugs is the fact that many people buy antibiotics over the counter without even having a prescription from a medical practitioner. This has resulted to increased abuse of the drug and at the end the bacteria grow resistance to these drugs. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics result to drug-resistance bacteria. Antibiotics when used correctly helps in destroying disease causing bacteria.
Development of super bugs is a natural process. The rise of resistance to antibiotic is due to the fact that antibiotics only kill vulnerable pathogens that makes you sick but leave behind the stronger ones. The rate of resistance of the super bugs have drastically gone up over the years and this is due poor quality product, incorrect dosing and prescription of antibiotics for non-bacterial infections. Another name for the drug resisting bacteria is superbugs. Some of the significant super bugs include have resulted to diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, MRSA, CRE and VRE.
Table of Contents
- 9 Effective Control Tips for Super Bugs
- 1 Wash your hands
- 2 Adhering to doctor’s prescription on antibiotics
- 3 Ensure that you handle and cook meat properly
- 4 Exercise self-care while visiting family and friends in hospital
- 5 Resist from self-diagnosing and over-the-counter treatments
- 6 Be up to date with vaccinations
- 7 Ensure proper prevention against sexually transmitted infections
- 8 If possible, chose animal based products that are certified organic
- 9 Be careful with antibacterial soap
9 Effective Control Tips for Super Bugs
1 Wash your hands
Hand is a part of our bodies that corrects lots of germs and harmful bacteria around. This is through touching objects, shaking hands with one another or generally correcting dust around. In fact, this is one of the dirtiest part of our bodies and it is necessary to ensure that we are constantly washing our hands. It is also good to ensure that hand washing is done correctly and using the correct soap. There have been increased awareness to hand washing with companies that manufacturing antibacterial soaps taking this initiative. This is an attempt to promote use of their products and it is necessary to ensure that the message reaches every person.
A reason why proper hand washing is sensitized is because having dirty hands means that bacteria are introduced into the body through food consumed. More also, many people have a tendency to introduce their fingers in the mouth and this result to introduction of the harmful bacteria. Usually, dirty hand results to stomach upsets and in most cases, this illness is treated by the use of antibiotics. Therefore, treating the illness and not dealing with its cause only makes the matters worse.
Washing of hands with soap and plenty of clean water should be done every time one visits the washroom, before preparing of meal, after handling of raw foods such as meat, before eating and after changing a baby and also every time one handles dirt among other instances. This reduces the spread of bacteria and protects one against getting infections. A good way to avoid getting sick and end up taking antibiotics is to ensure that the hand are kept clean. This also stops the spread of super bugs from the person one comes into contact with.
2 Adhering to doctor’s prescription on antibiotics
Antibiotics resistance is one of the reason that have led to increased super bugs. This is caused by overuse or misuse of antibiotics. In fact, there have been increased use of over-the-counter antibiotic dosage without doctor’s prescription. Doctor’s over and over again sensitize that there is need for one to complete their dose of antibiotics ad take it at the exact time advised. However, many people reports that they stop taking the dosage when they feel better or the symptoms disappear. This is not good at all due to the fact that the bacteria has not been completely destroyed and failing to take the entire dose means that the possibility of the disease recurring is high. More also, it results to growth of even stronger bacteria strain.
According to medical practitioners, when you stop taking the antibiotics, it gives super bugs an opportunity to develop resistance to the antibiotic. The super bugs then spread and makes the antibiotics less effective to treat illness designed for. The doctors also prescribes the time when the antibiotics should be taken and it is important to ensure that one adheres to this time frame. This will ensure that the antibiotic is taken within the time frame and effective to treating the illness.
3 Ensure that you handle and cook meat properly
Meat is one of the commonly consumed food in most household. In fact, there are many food products that contain meat and there is need to ensure that people handle meat well. Meat goes bad very fast and it has creates a favorable environment for growth of many bacterial pathogens. Some of the super bugs that are antibiotic resistance and comes from the meat include E.Coli, campylobacter and salmonella. Usually, animals develop resistant to antibiotics and this lead to increased super bugs in the meat. These super bugs multiply in the guts and remain on the meat after slaughter. By consuming the meat, one gets the illness and some of the symptoms is fever, diarrhea and stomach upset.
Cross contamination that is caused by handling raw or cooked food after touching meat will result to contamination with resistant germs. Usually, when handling uncooked meat, it is important to ensure that one wash hands well and the surface used before placing any other food. More also, cooked meat should be well heated before consumption. Ensure also that you purchase meat from licensed meat handlers and avoid consuming game meat. Meat from licensed outlet is usually well screened to ensure that it is safe for human consumption. More also, it is well handled to avoid any contamination that can result to growth of resistant germs.
Meat should never be placed together with vegetables especially those to be eaten as salads. While preparing meals, ensure that the knives and chopping boards that have used while cutting meat are thoroughly washed before being used again. Storage is another important consideration when it comes to controlling of super bugs. Meat should be stored at very low temperature. While handling meat, also ensure that you do not have cuts or bruises on the hand.
4 Exercise self-care while visiting family and friends in hospital
At one point, each of us has ever visited a friend or family member at hospital. This is one place that one is likely to get infections especially due to the high population of people coming in and out of the premises. It is therefore important to ensure that one protects themselves and do not end up coming back to the same hospital as a patient. More also, ensure that you do not take infections to the person who is ill since their immunity is definitely low at the point. One way to achieve this is to ensure that one washes their hands before entering the room and after leaving. By doing this, one avoid spreading germs or catching them from the hospital.
Also avoid touching anything in hospital and leave it to the nurses. This is because, they usually have protective clothing and gloves. If you are actively being involved in taking care of the patient, ensure that you get these protective gears. Doctors and nurses are also expected to wash their hands thoroughly before touching any patient. This is essential in order to ensure that they do not transfer super bugs from one patient to the other. Patients will illnesses that are highly infectious should be kept in their rooms and if it is high risk, visiting should be done in a controlled situation. Additionally, people with compromised immune systems should also not be visited regularly and this is due to increased vulnerability to catching infections.
Institution have dress code and when it comes to hospitals, some of these rules are basically due to the need to maintain a healthy environment and reduce infectious super bugs. For instance, while dealing directly with patients, one is encouraged not to have rings on and fake finger nails. This is a good area for the bacteria to hide themselves and may not be thoroughly cleaned. This is one of the reason why you may not have seen a doctor or nurse who is in active duty wearing on their rings or fake fingernails. Safety and cleanliness at hospitals should be paramount to ensure that spreading of germs is curtailed.
5 Resist from self-diagnosing and over-the-counter treatments
One of the commonest trend that is being seen in many parts of the world is self-diagnosing and buying antibiotics over the counter. This has greatly contributed to super bugs that are resistant to antibiotics. The misuse and overuse of these antibiotics causes these bacteria to gain resistance as they attempt to increase their survival rate. This also means that the person is less likely to be receptive of these drugs. There have increased deaths globally that are caused by the super bugs. A diseases such as tuberculosis that is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis has killed thousands of people annually. More also, medical researchers are constantly fighting to come up with better antibiotic due to constant growing resistance of the antibiotic to the disease.
Viral infection such as colds, bronchitis, coughs and sore throats are not treatable with the antibiotics. This is because the antibiotics cannot fight infections that are caused by the viruses directly but only those that are caused by bacteria. However, people may fail to understand the use of the antibiotics and the specific ailments it treats. Lack of this knowledge has led to misdiagnosing especially when a person purchases medicine over the counter. It is important to ensure that you are checked by a physician who determines the illness and prescribes the right dosage.
In order to control the menace of super bugs, there is need to use the antibiotics appropriately. Taking antibiotics for sore throat, cough and flu will not make you better but resistant to antibiotics. This will only contribute to destroying of harmless bacteria which is probably good for the body for instance those found around the gut. Constant use of the antibiotics will also contribute to the spread of the super bugs.
6 Be up to date with vaccinations
A vaccine is a drug that is injected in one’s body to prevent them to future vulnerability to an infection. Medical researchers are always coming up with safe vaccines that are aimed at minimizing the risks of infections. It is said that prevention is better than cure and this is the aim of vaccines. Preventing of infections is key when it comes to fighting of antibiotic resistance. Ensure that you take recommended vaccines by your doctor as this will greatly minimize the need to constantly use antibiotics.
Vaccines works in two ways and this is why they are greatly recommended. One, it will protect you against illnesses caused by bacteria and at the same time protect those you come into contact with. Infectious diseases that are common include German measles, polio, whopping cough, mumps and tetanus. When one is infected and they come into contact with someone who is not infected, chances are that they are going to spread the illness to the person. Breakthrough in medical field is introduction of vaccines that controls these infectious diseases. These vaccines have contributed greatly to saving millions of lives worldwide. It is therefore for one to ensure that they keep up to date with the vaccines. It is especially important when one is travelling to new destination and certain vaccines are recommended.
7 Ensure proper prevention against sexually transmitted infections
Some of the commonly sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are caused by bacterial infections. These are usually treated by antibiotics but it is becoming more difficult due to growing resistance to the super bugs. The fact that these super bugs are being un-diagnosed and antibiotics that are used to treat them are beginning to fail to do so. In the recent years, resistance have greatly increased and this is alarming. This calls for the need to ensure that increased awareness is created for people to prevent against contracting the infections.
Doctors have reported that increased strains of multi-drug resistant gonorrhea which are not responding to antibiotics. Untreatable and untreated STI’s have long-term and serious health implications on individuals. To reduce the risk of catching an STI, one is advised to use protection with your partner and get tested for it regularly.
8 If possible, chose animal based products that are certified organic
Another issue that have greatly contributed to increased super bugs is use of antibiotics while rearing animals. In fact, most of these animals are constantly being given antibiotics and growth booster to help improve the economic standing of the farm. However, at the end of the day, these antibiotics only makes the animal’s resistance to some diseases. More also, the strains of these bacteria are transferred to humans as they consume their products.
Organic farming and rearing of animals is being done with the aim of achieving this aim. It involves use manure and not using of antibiotics or pesticides. Organic meat, milk and plant based food greatly contributes to a healthier society that is free from super bugs.`
9 Be careful with antibacterial soap
There is still debate on whether antibacterial soap ate any better as compared to regular soap. Manufacturers of antibacterial soap have taken the initiative of using these soap and going ahead to compare the results of the number of bacterial screened against that of regular soap. However, to understand if there is any need to spend more on buying the antibacterial soap, there is need to get professional perspectives.
Research has shown that you do not need to use antibacterial soap regularly and this is due to the drying effect it has on the skin. You should only use these soaps at specific medical circumstances only when prescribed by the physician. This also makes your skin prone to infections when you stop using them. This is due to the fact that the bacteria have already developed resistance towards these antibacterial soap. More also, it results to destroying of good bacteria that are essential to keep the skin healthy. Breaking the skin barriers increased the risk of getting what is referred to as superimposed bacterial that is harder to treat. Therefore, they key to good hand washing is to use soap and plenty of water and ensure that you clean all areas effectively.