(Health Secrets) Antibiotics have been hailed as medical science’s greatest contribution in the fight against illness. Now, over a century after they first came into use, an increasing number of people are coming to believe that the development and widespread use of antibiotics may go down as one of medical science’s greatest mistakes. Quite simply, the age of antibiotics is coming to an end, and we have entered the age of the superbugs — increasingly virulent pathogens which continue to mutate and defeat the strongest antibiotics that science can produce.
Looking back, it is easy to see why modern medicine is losing the war against microbes. Microbes have been around for 3.5 billion years, and it takes many bacteria only 20-30 minutes to replicate.
As Dr. Mark Sircus said in 2008:
“Eventually antibiotics are going to be seen as one of the worst things to ever come out of pharmaceutical science because in the end, they have made us only weaker in the face of ever increasingly strong superbugs that are resistant to all the antibiotics doctors have at their disposal.”
Deadly New Pathogen Outbreaks are Turning our Hospitals into Deathtraps
This year, federal health officials reported that at least 2 million Americans fall ill from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and that at least 23,000 die from those infections.
One of the widest spread and best known drug-resistant bacterium is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. During the past four decades, MRSA has evolved into an increasingly serious public health threat, as new hard-to-treat and often deadly strains have emerged.
Drug-resistant bacteria are found lurking throughout hospitals: on equipment passed from one room to the next, on door handles, in sink drains, on the hands of hospital staff and in ventilation equipment and tubes. Carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, or KPC, is a particularly dangerous bug which has been found in hospitals in at least 44 states so far — and no combination of antibiotics has been able to conquer KPC.
Last year saw an outbreak in northeast Illinois of the very dangerous bacteria called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. CRE is part of a family of more than 70 bacteria, including E. coli, that normally live in the digestive system. The most common infection that the bacteria cause is a urinary tract infection, and if that infection goes to the bloodstream, the patient has a 40 to 50 percent chance of dying.
In December 2013, the CDC reported an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg in 23 states which was linked to meat from Foster Farms.
Tuberculosis is making a strong comeback and is now termed multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR-TB. The World Health Organization (WHO) recorded almost 9 million cases of tuberculosis worldwide in 2011. Of those, almost 1.5 million died. An even worse version of resistant tuberculosis is XDR-TB (extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis), which infects close to 10 percent of the population affected by resistant tuberculosis.
Another old bacterial nemesis making an alarming comeback is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), which has become increasingly deadly, and its incidence has increased anywhere from double to quadruple in hospitals and homes across North America and Europe. Its primary cause is antibiotic drugs wiping out bacteria that compete with C. difficile.
Nature has the answers to superbugs
The first line of defense against superbugs is a strong natural immune system. When such infections do occur, nature has powerful solutions, such as one or more of the following natural pathogen destroyers:
Oil of Wild Oregano
Olive Leaf Extract
In addition, probiotics help restore healthy intestinal flora.
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Photo by NIAID