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PostPosted: Thu May 26, '16, 10:05 pm ... &tid=ss_fb

A strain of E. Coli that is resistant to our last-ditch antibiotic colistin has been found in a women in PA. This strain is also resistant to basically all the rest of our antibiotics, hence colistin being the last-ditch nothing-else-works drug you have to pull out when nothing else is working against an infection. It is considered the drug of last resort because it can do massive damage to a person's kidneys. They are not sure where the woman picked up the bacteria, and are currently tracing her history and contacts to see where it may have come from.

I've felt for a while that the post-antibiotic era may hit during my lifetime. This reinforces that notion and it is VERY unsettling. Surgeries may become much riskier when more antibiotics become ineffective, as it is much more likely a patient could get infected with something we can't kill. What were formally minor infections could become life threatening. A cut on one's arm could be a death sentence if it gets infected with something our drugs don't work against. Bacterial diseases that were once easily treated, like certain strains of pneumonia or strep could become killers.

This is something that if we do not act soon, is going to have massive ramifications for society and the practice of modern medicine. Something we take for granted is going to vanish right in front of us if drug companies and probably government don't act soon. I think antibiotic resistance is second only to climate change (and various effects, ranging from more disease to food shortages) in threats to humanity.

PostPosted: Fri May 27, '16, 1:17 am 
I find this very horrifying.

PostPosted: Tue May 31, '16, 5:35 pm 
Scary stuff. In college, some professors pushed the fact that a flu epidemic was coming and that it was not an "if"; it was a "when." There were a couple of scares with the Avian flu and such, but we have not seen a major epidemic in years. However, I feel that we won't be greeted with so much of a flu epidemic, but rather with something like this superbug. I wonder how this woman got it? And I wonder how this bug spreads? So much stuff to think about...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 1, '16, 2:21 am 
E. Coli spreads through food contamination, mostly, as it's in human waste as it is present in the human gut. It's actually a symbiotic bacteria, provided its numbers are kept in check. But it's also one of the reasons washing your hands after using the restroom is important. E. Coli infections are more common in places that don't have modern hygiene (read: flush toilets) where water is polluted with raw sewage.

I'm more worried about resistant strains of tuberculosis as it spreads person to person easily, but any bacteria that isn't affected by any of our antibiotics is a bit terrifying.

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