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  • Things of Drug-Resistant Bacteria WHO Wants You to Know

    Drug-resistant bacteria can’t be killed by anti-bacterial drugs. Should you be afraid? Here are the most important details about them.

    November 27, 2014 | Related:

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    Things of Drug-Resistant Bacteria WHO Wants You to Know

    Things of Drug-Resistant Bacteria WHO Wants You to Know

    Drug-resistant bacteria can’t be controlled or killed using anti-bacterial drugs. These organisms are threatening the effectiveness of antibiotics.

    They’re a serious threat to the global public health. These bacteria aren’t only present in the Philippines or third-world countries, but they can be found in all parts of the world.

    These drug-resistant bacteria can multiply in your body, despite the intake of an antibiotic. Multi-resistant organisms tend to resist many antibiotics.

    What specific bacteria are resistant to drugs?

    Any type of bacteria can become resistant to anti-bacterial drugs.

    Staphylococcus aureus, for instance, was once a strain that could be killed by administering benzyl penicillin. These days, it can’t be controlled by penicillin alone.

    If Staphylococcus aureus would become a drug-resistant bacterium, it would be called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or better known as MRSA.

    Other drug-resistant bacteria will include:

    • VRE or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus
    • MDR-TB or Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Are antibacterial and antimicrobial resistant the same?

    They’re not.

    The former is used to describe resistance to anti-bacterial drugs in bacteria causing infections.

    The latter, on the other hand, is a broader term that includes other microbes, like parasites, fungi and viruses.

    Why should these bacteria be a global concern?

    Things of Drug-Resistant Bacteria WHO Wants You to Know

    Things of Drug-Resistant Bacteria WHO Wants You to Know

    We must worry about them because they can spread globally. What’s more frightening is that they can’t be treated using the known drugs that we have now.

    As a result of that, they can cause more infections and death.

    They can kill.

    As they can no longer be killed by antibiotics, they can result in prolonged illness. If you’re infected with them, you’d suffer from high health care expenses.

    And you might not survive.

    In fact the death rate of people infected with these bacteria is twice the rate of patients caused by non-resistant bacteria.

    Patients with MRSA are more likely to die than those patients having non-resistant form of bacteria in their bodies.

    They can be difficult to control.

    Because they can’t be killed by administration of antibiotics, patients can remain infectious for a longer period of time.

    As a result of that, it increases their likelihood to spread the drug-resistant bacteria to others.

    What’s the present situation is like?

    According to WHO, these bacteria are putting every person at risk of being infected. They also reduce the healthcare institutions in their ability to treat the most common infections in the hospitals.

    If the government won’t do something about it, we’ll be going back to the era where common infections or minor injuries can’t be treated.

    It has been confirmed that the third-generation cephalosporins have failed to treat gonorrhea in some countries. Without treatment of such infection, we’ll expect the increase rates of gonococcal infections that will result in increase rates of complications, like nenonatal blindness and infertility.

    Some E.coli strains are now resistant to fluoroquinolones. And this case is getting widespread. Some strains of Staphylococcus aureus are becoming resistant to the first-line of drugs in treating infections. This, too, is also widespread.

    Tuberculosis

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be easily treated with antibiotics. However, if this strain isn’t treated immediately, it’ll become a drug-resistant bacterium. This means that it can no longer be treated using fluoroquinolone and the injectable drug.

    What can you do?

    Besides heeding to healthy eating strategies, you should also avoid taking antibiotics each time you’re feeling sick.

    Bear in mind that antibiotic is there to protect and kill the bacteria that have been causing your infection. However, taking this drug isn’t always the answer to your sickness.

    You must always remember that infections aren’t only caused by bacteria but they can also be brought by a certain virus.

    • Antibiotic can’t treat virus.

    Continue taking the drug

    Another way to prevent drug-resistant bacteria from thriving in your body is to continue taking the antibiotic up to the remaining course of treatment.

    In addition to eating a healthy balanced diet while you’re sick, you must not stop taking the drug your doctor has given you.

    • The first dose of it will weaken some of its strains.
    • You’ll feel better.
    • But the stronger strains are still there… thriving… waiting to attack.
    • When you stop taking the drug before the course is over, the remaining bacteria will multiply causing them to become resistant to the drug you’re taking.
    • If it happens, you’ll need stronger antibiotic.
    • What’s worrisome about it is that you can easily transmit these drug-resistant bacteria to your family member or the community.

    What can be done?

    To fight against drug-resistant bacteria, you need to heed to these tips:

    • Use anti-bacterial drugs if you’re sure that the infection is caused by a bacterium. Thus, it’s always necessary to check with your doctor.
    • Complete the course of treatment. As mentioned earlier, even if you’re feeling better after the first dose, the bacteria are still there. To kill all of them, you should complete your treatment.
    • Don’t share your medicines with others and don’t use leftover antibiotic prescriptions.
    • Prevent yourself from getting infected with any type of bacteria or virus. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. When you’re not sick, you won’t need antibiotics.
    • Cook meat carefully. Bear in mind that animal meat can harbor bacteria that may cause you to get sick.

    Does the use of antibacterial soaps and solutions effective?

    Yes, for certain institutions, like hospitals and nursing homes. This is because they’re following strict guidelines that can help in preventing the spread of disease from one patient to another.

    However, those antibacterial soaps and solutions that you find on the market have some public concerns. For one, they may interfere with the growth of friendly bacteria that you need to fight against those harmful organisms.

    Further, their use by the general public is still unproven to be effective. Instead of purchasing those expensive soaps and solutions, try washing your hands before and after eating.

    When to take antibiotics?

    The best way to avoid drug-resistant bacteria is to only take antibiotics when prescribed by your doctor. Your healthcare provide will assess your condition and determine whether you need it or not.

    As previously mentioned, antibiotics are for bacteria and don’t work against any type of viruses.

    When it comes to the right dosage, you must follow it based on the prescription given.

    Don’t stop early as the bacteria will only restart an infection, which may lead them to be drug-resistant bacteria.

    Are antibiotics safe?

    Generally, they’re safe to use.

    But they must be taken only as prescribed by your doctor. However, anti-bacterial drugs may alter the effectiveness of other drugs.

    They may also cause side effects, especially if taken in large amounts.

    Although these drugs can kill bacteria, they can also kill those good bacteria in your body. When there’s too much destruction to the good bacteria’s population, you’ll experience the following:

    • Diarrhea
    • Stomach upset
    • Infection in the vagina

    If they’re taken unnecessarily, you’re contributing the growth or development of drug-resistant bacteria.

    When they do grow inside your body, your sickness will last longer.

    You may need to be hospitalized.

    And if the infection won’t stop, you may die.

    How physicians know what antibiotic to prescribe?

    Your symptoms will be examined by your doctor. If he/she thinks that you need antibiotic, he/she requests a bacterial culture.

    In some instances, your doctor may prescribe you with a broad-spectrum anti-bacterial drug.

    Trade name or generic

    Most doctors in the Philippines don’t recommend generic antibiotics. This is because some of them are diluted that they no longer provide positive effects to patients.

    As long as you know that they come from a reputable company, you’re good to go.

    Can you fight drug-resistant bacteria through vitamins?

    Vitamins alone can’t defeat these bacteria.

    But you use them in conjunction with antibiotics, you’re helping your immune function.

    • Vitamin A. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that aims to activate your T-lymphocyte. For healthy eating strategies to fight against infection, make sure that you consume a healthy balanced diet rich in vitamin A. If you need to take a supplement, you must avoid taking it more than what has been recommended as this could lead to headache, dizziness, and worst, liver damage.
    • Vitamin C. It’s known for its properties that can fight against infection. It can boost immune system while reducing infection time.
    • Vitamin D. This, too, can regulate T-cells and other cell factors that are responsible for immune response.
    • Vitamin E. It’s an antioxidant that can prevent infection and may help in reducing infection time.

    Conclusion

    Drug-resistant bacteria are dangerous and deadly. Even if you’re very careful with your healthy eating strategies, you might still get infected with such organism. With their presence, it could affect how we deal with infection.

    Antibiotics are there to fight bacterial infections. But don’t abuse them. With inappropriate use, they can lead to drug-resistant bacteria and increased healthcare costs.

    Thus, when you’re sick, don’t request antibiotics. Instead, go to a doctor to know whether your sickness is caused by a bacterium or a virus.

    You also have to practice having healthy eating strategies by eating a healthy balanced diet. In this way, you can prevent infection and avoid intake of antibiotics.

    About the author

    Rod Jong Rod Jong is a BS Chemistry graduate who believes that people must start consuming foods that are organically produced. If he’s not writing, then he’s busy managing his (organic) farm that utilizes the power of natural processes.

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  • Vim Ch’i

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.      

    Vim Ch’i is a health and wellness centre in Davao that offers natural supplements and fitness products, which bring back your Vim (energy and enthusiasm) and Chi (vital energy to animate the body internally)

    If you wish to contribute articles, infographics, etc. to our website, please email us admin[at]vimchi.info.