The MRSA Superbug

A January 27, 2007 article on about a super bug that kills healthy young adults in 24 hours caught manypeople’s attention. The superbug was identified as the bacteria called PVL-producing MRSA. This is a highly virulent strain of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria commonly known as the Staph infection. The Staph infection is resistant to antibiotics and decimates white blood cells and can also cause boils to appear.

When this bacteria gets into an open would it can start the process for necrotizing pneumonia. This type of pneumonia destroys lung tissue. The survival rate for necrotizing pneumonia is only 25%. There have been fatalities from the PVL-MRSA strain in England, Wales, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and in Europe.

Whats a Superbug

By definition Superbugs are super-bacteria that are resistant to almost all known antibiotics. Resistance occurs when antibiotics are overused and bacteria become used to the antibiotics and resist being killed by the antibiotics so that the antibiotics become totally useless against the bacteria.

MRSA Staph bacteria is just one of these resistant “bugs” that have received a lot of attention lately. It is not entirely hopeless as doctors can use more unusual treatments, which are usually more expensive. The people who are at most risk are those in close contact with children, prisoners or those on sports teams.

Miami Dolphins MRSA Outbreak

Two of NFL’s Miami Dolphin football players were hospitalized with MRSA as a result of cuts in their skin. It is easy to receive cuts and abrasions from the Astroturf they play on during games. Staph can get inside the body through cuts and abrasions.

One antibiotic of choice against MRSA is Vancomycin. It has proven to be effective when other antibiotics are being resisted by the Staph bacteria. Doctors and scientists fear that eventually the Superbugs will figure out ways to defeat Vancomycin too. The best way to prevent this from happening is to educate doctors in stemming the overuse of antibiotics.

Like MRSA, other bacterial infections like childhood ear infections, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and pneumonia are also becoming more dangerous as they too are finding ways to become antibiotic resistant. To stem this tide, parents and doctors need to realize that not all infections need antibiotics. Most childhood ear infections can go away on their own without the use of antibiotics. There needs to be a protocol set up for when an antibiotic is necessary and when it is not and then it needs to be followed.