Super BUGS!

by Lois Etienne on November 19, 2012

in Senior Health and Safety

You have probably heard the term ‘Superbug’ but do you really know what it means?

Superbugs are really just a common bacteria that has figured out how to live in the presence of a powerful antibiotic…so we can’t kill it! The dreaded MRSA – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – which made over 82,000 people sick and killed over 11,000 of them in 2010, is just a common staph bacteria that has figured out how not to die, usually by mutating its DNA a little bit. Being hospitalized puts you at greater risk of developing one of these infections but it’s becoming more common outside of the hospital setting these days.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Make sure your doctor knows that you only want an antibiotic if it’s absolutely necessary. Antibiotics are to stop bacteria, so taking one with a cold, which is caused by a virus, is pretty much useless. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, take it all, even if you feel better. Consider buying meats that are raised without antibiotics, always cook meat thoroughly and clean surfaces after preparing meats. And finally, wash your hands with soap and water. It’s more the rubbing action and the flow of water that rids your hands of germs so you don’t need to use an antibacterial soap. Pay attention to your body. If something does not look right or does not appear to be healing at a normal pace, go visit a doctor.

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