Thursday, July 24, 2014
Superbugs Kill 3 Billion
Barry, My Liege :
What? You think the headline is overstated and hyperbolic?
I hope so, My Liege.
We both hope so.
There are several bacteria which have evolved and are now resistant to most antibiotics.
This means that hospitals keep them under control with extensive measures. Today, 2014, those extra-ordinary measures keep us safe from past scourges like TB and sepsis caused by staphylococcus aureus.
A longer list of the superbugs is below.
But, consider this My Liege : Hospitals try to operate with occupancy rates between 60% and 90%. These ratios ensure the best use of scarce resources like nurses, physicians and beds.
What will happen to the extraordinary measures taken today to control the superbugs when all the hospitals are faced with occupany of 200%, or 900%?
That's what will happen as we approach the Doomsday Event.
As populations outstrip food and water, sanitary conditions will deteriorate and violence will escalate.
Simply put, hospital staff will be overwhelmed and will be unable to prevent the superbugs from escaping to the general population. That will bring us face to face with massive epidemics of bacterial diseases for which we have no cure.
And, My Liege, this scenario does not acount for the super viruses like Ebola which are already killing many people.
Here is a list of some bacteria which have evolved and are resistant to most antibiotics [Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_resistance#Resistant_pathogens]:
1. Penicillin, methicillin, tetracycline and erythromycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) has now emerged as an epidemic that is responsible for rapidly progressive, fatal diseases, including necrotizing pneumonia, severe sepsis, and necrotizing fasciitis.
2. Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus: GAS) infections like necrotizing fascitis require supportive care in an intensive-care unit.
3. Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for pneumonia, bacteremia, otitis media, meningitis, sinusitis, peritonitis and arthritis; it shows increasing resistance to to penicillin and other beta-lactams
4. Multidrug-resistant Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium are associated with nosocomial infections.
5. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a highly prevalent opportunistic pathogen.
6. Clostridium difficile is a nosocomial pathogen that causes diarrheal disease in hospitals world wide. Clindamycin-resistant C. difficile was reported as the causative agent of large outbreaks of diarrheal disease in hospitals in New York, Arizona, Florida and Massachusetts between 1989 and 1992. Geographically dispersed outbreaks of C. difficile strains resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, were also reported in North America in 2005.[
7. Salmonella and E. coli hospitalize and kill many people. Some strains of E. coli have become resistant to multiple types of fluoroquinolone
8. Acinetobacter baumannii - On November 5, 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an increasing number of Acinetobacter baumannii bloodstream infections in patients at military medical facilities in which service members injured in the Iraq/Kuwait region during Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom were treated. Most of these showed multidrug resistance (MRAB), with a few isolates resistant to all drugs tested.
9. Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing bacteria are a group of emerging highly drug-resistant Gram-negative bacilli causing infections associated with significant morbidity and mortality whose incidence is rapidly increasing in a variety of clinical settings around the world.
10. Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is increasing across the globe, especially in developing countries, over the past few years. TB resistant to antibiotics is called MDR TB (Multidrug Resistant TB).
11. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a sexually transmitted pathogen where antibiotic resistant strains predominate.
Your faithful servant,