- A superbug, or multi-drug resistant bacteria, is defined as a bacteria that is resistant to multiple antibiotics.
- The term can also describe hardy and infectious diseases that are difficult to treat using modern medicine, including viruses such as HIV.
- Approximately, 2 million people contract diseases caused by a superbug each year, and about 20,000 people die from such infections.
- Any species of bacteria can become a superbug, and misuse of antibiotics is the leading contributing factor to this growing issue. The five types of superbugs listed below are growing threats, as signified by the 2015 White House report to combat drug-resistant bacteria.
How can you protect yourself from superbugs? Although superbugs are resistant to many strong antibiotics and can cause serious infections, many experts say that the best way to protect yourself is simply to use antibiotics properly and wash your hands often with soap and water. You should also be sure to cover cuts with bandages and not share personal toiletry items. Since most infections from superbugs are acquired in hospitals or healthcare facillities, medical establishments have instituted a number of guidelines for sterilization and patient contact procedures to reduce the risk of healthcare-acquired disease.
Superbug: Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
CRE are a bacterial family usually found in the digestive system. Many of these bacteria are resistant to most types of antibiotics, including the last resort treatment – carbapenem. One such example is E. coli. These bacteria are usually harmless to healthy people but can cause infections to hospitalized patients with other complications. CRE cause blood infections with no current effective treatments. The most common transmission is from contaminated medical tools placed in the body during surgeries or other procedures.
Dangerous Superbugs’ Examples
- Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- Clostridium difficile
- Multi drug-Resistant Acinetobacter
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
The above are five examples of dangerous superbugs you should be aware of.