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  • People are a little freaked out about a recent deadly superbug outbreak in Los Angeles.

  • But what are superbugs?

  • And why are they such a problem?

  • Hey everyone Julia here for DNews

  • The recent outbreak at a UCLA hospital was caused by a strain of carbapenem-resistant

  • Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE.

  • According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CRE can lead

  • to death in up to half of seriously infected patients.

  • CRE is a kind of superbug, a bacteria that evolves resistance to most antibiotics.

  • Hospitals tend to be the epicenters of superbug outbreaks.

  • The combination of high use of antibiotics and lots of sick people pack into one place,

  • seems to be a breeding ground for them.

  • Some bacteria aren't transmitted all that easily, they're not like a cold which can

  • travel on a sneeze.

  • Caregivers like nurses, can spread bacteria through touch.

  • But let's say a nurse, touches a wound or stool sample of an infected person and they

  • don't wash their hands enough.

  • Then they touch another patient, who is already vulnerable because of their own wounds or

  • weakened immune systems.

  • Sometimes super bugs can live on an instrument, like an endoscope, which is properly cleaned

  • between procedures.

  • It seems this is what went wrong in UCLA.

  • Caregivers didn't realize the patients carried CRE and normal sanitization methods weren't

  • enough to kill it.

  • From the discovery of penicillin in 1928, we lived in a golden age of treatment for

  • bacterial infections.

  • These drugs saved millions of lives.

  • But scientists fear this hayday is coming to a fast end.

  • Bacteria have evolved faster than we can keep up.

  • It's become an arms race and we're losing.

  • We are now defenseless in the face of certain strains of bacteria.

  • According to the World Health Organization, one of the most common superbug MRSA, is 64%

  • more deadly than non-resistant strains of the bacteria.

  • Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Health Security saysthe world is headed

  • for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been

  • treatable for decades can once again kill”.

  • Antibiotic resistant bacteria is a growing epidemic, according to the CDC, mostly because

  • too many doctors over-prescribe antibiotics and patients don't use them properly.

  • We're also exposed to antibiotics that are overused in farm production.

  • Unfortunately research into new antibiotics has been slow.

  • In the past 30 years, there has only been one promising new antibiotic class.

  • Recently, researchers from Northeastern University identified a potential new antibiotic found

  • in dirt in a “grassy field in Maine”.

  • In tests, the compound, teixobactin, killed off a ton of bacteria, even ones that are

  • currently resistant to most antibiotics.

  • But it's still a few years away from reaching patients.

  • At least there's some hope.

  • So what do we do in the meantime?

  • For the strains frequently found in hospitals, it's crucial for caregivers to wash their

  • hands often and sterilize equipment properly.

  • Doctors need to prescribe antibiotics only when necessary.

  • Antibiotics don't work for viruses, which cause things like the common cold and flu.

  • As for what you can do, don't take antibiotics unless prescribed and take the whole course

  • of them to make sure you've killed them all.

  • Maybe reduce your use of antimicrobial soap, too.

  • In 2014 Minnesota banned the use of antimicrobial soap citing some health concerns including

  • the rise of resistant bacteria.

  • If you want to learn more about how antimicrobial soap might be a problem, check out Trace's

  • video here

  • So are you scared of super bugs?

  • Let us know in the comments below.

  • And while you're at it, don't forget to hit that like and subscribe button and keep

  • coming back for new episodes every day of the week.

People are a little freaked out about a recent deadly superbug outbreak in Los Angeles.

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Why Superbugs Thrive In Hospitals

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/14
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