Superbugs like the flu strains and the coronavirus are today’s headline news and instilling fear in people in the U.S. and across the world. Indeed, there is much to be concerned about, especially for senior citizens, who have weakened immune systems.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a report that superbugs kill at least 35,000 people and cause more than 2.8 million infections each year in the U.S.
Superbugs are germs that are able to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. They are so potent, that they can overpower new antibiotics designed to kill them. Instead, says the CDC, scientists must focus on keeping the bugs from occurring , and if they do occur, keep them away from population centers.
Superbugs: Strategies to Keep Them Far Away From You
Wash your hands with soap and keep that soap on your hands for at least 20 seconds. And always wash your hands after touching, feeding or caring for animals, since they can also carry these bugs.
Follow safe-food practices, such as cleaning surfaces, separating raw meat from other foods and chilling leftovers properly.This will reduce your risk of a drug-resistant infection. the CDC says.
Common symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea and vomiting. Call your doctor immediately if you have one or more of these symptoms.
Use antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor.
Who’s Most At Risk?
People with weakened immune systems, like senior citizens, are at increased risk for a superbug infection. Seniors need to be treated carefully as many are already are taking multiple drugs for a variety of illnesses. Multiple drugs taken at the same time, can cause negative side effects. Indeed, antibiotic resistance is a serious issue and requires a solution, so that future antibiotics can be effective.
According to the CDC, the global community needs more innovation. Specifically, there is a need for new treatment options, reliable diagnostics, and better data to protect people and animals.
In addition to the flu and the coronavirus, the CDC report lists five superbugs as “urgent threats.” THis includes Candida auris (C. auris), which spreads easily in hospitals. The number of reported cases increased 318 percent in 2018, compared with previous years.
So be smart. Stay away from coughers and smokers. Keep your kitchen and bathroom surfaces sanitized, wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap especially after handling animals and anything they have touched.