Antibiotic-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Bacteria
Unwittingly, mankind has created a superbug that is hard to kill. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that drug-resistant staphylococcus bacteria are causing over 94,000 serious infections and 18,600 deaths each year. This figure now surpasses the 12,500 estimated deaths from AIDS in 2005.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) became prevalent by surviving a multitude of antibiotics that doctors prescribed indiscriminately for many years. It was not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, which are unaffected by these drugs, as a prophylactic measure to prevent co-occurring bacterial infections. The resistant bacteria have proved capable of surviving exposure to what were once powerful antibiotics. The rise of MRSA illustrates the principles of Darwin's Theory of Evolution very clearly.
Staph germs occur commonly on human skin. Pimples and minor abrasions are frequently infected with Staphylococcus. Severe infections are usually treated with penicillin derivatives such as methicillin or amoxicillin, but these treatments are ineffective against the resistant bacteria. Drug-resistant bacteria are turning up more frequently in institutional health-care centers, prisons, and sport facilities where people are in close contact. The term "Nosocomial Infection" is used for infections that are acquired as result of treatment in a hospital and which usually appear more than 48 hours after hospitalization. Hospitals are addressing the problem by forbidding doctors from wearing ties and jewelry that can harbor bacteria, and by disinfecting commonly touched surfaces more frequently. The most effective technique for reducing hospital-acquired infections consists of identifying reservoirs of MRSA through culture of nasal swabs and treating and isolating the carriers.
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