There has been grave concern among American health officials recently after the first national case of a patient emerged in which they had an infection that was resistant to a last chance antibiotic. The case is an indication that there is a possibility that the superbug could pose a serious danger for regular infections if it manages to spread.
According to the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Thomas Frieden, there is a risk of living in a post-antibiotic world. The case concerned that of a 49-year old woman from Pennsylvania dealing with a urinary tract infection. The last chance antibiotic that was used was “colistin,” which is generally reserved for use against what is considered nightmare bacteria. According to a study, the superbug was infected by a small piece of DNA known as “plasmid”. The plasmid passed along a gene called “mcr-1,” which transmits a resistance to colistin. This instance was the first report of mcr-1 in the United States.
The patient first reported symptoms of a urinary tract infection on April 26th, when she visited a clinic. Her current condition was not described. According to the study, the true frequency of the mcr-1 gene needs to be determined and therefore continued surveillance is required. The potential speed of the gene’s spread cannot be known until more information is collected, such as how the patient was infected in the first place as well as what kind of presence the colistin-resistant superbug has — not just in the U.S. but throughout the world.
Antibiotic resistance has been the cause of roughly two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths every year in the U.S. The mcr-1 gene was discovered last year in China as well, where it was found in both people and pigs. The possibility that the superbug could spread from animals to people is a huge concern to health officials.
As of now, the best way to protect against the superbug and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria is by washing one’s hands thoroughly and preparing food appropriately. For more health-related news and advice, visit the Benefits Store today.