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Superbug NDM-1: Should I be Scared?


There is a new superbug known as NDH-1 and it's rumored to be sweeping the nation any day now. Just because this is a serious and daunting development does not necessarily mean you should pack your bug-out-bag and head for the hills! There is always something new and scary in the medical world but with some common sense and good decision making, you will be just fine so please, don't panic!

It all started in New Delhi, India. Apparently India is a well known destination for those seeking cosmetic surgery and is a hot spot for all types of medical tourism. The superbug gene has been identified in parts of Canada, USA, Australia, UK, and Sweden and is expected to become even more widespread due to the popularity of elective procedures amongst Americans and Europeans.

NDM-1 is a gene which alters bacteria into a superbug which is resistant to antibiotics. This is dangerous because it's difficult to treat. The gene is largely associated, so far, with DNA strands which are readily copied and pasted onto other types of bacteria as well as the dangerous E-Coli bacteria.

There are many ways to prevent bacterial infections. MRSA, Staph infections and NDM-1 are all potentially deadly superbugs which infect all sorts of people regardless of age, sex, or race. One very important step to protecting yourself is hand washing. I know it sounds trivial but with proper handwashing, many illnesses can be prevented. It's important to teach children to use hot water and soap and to scrub upto their elbows if possible for at least a minute. When you go to the hospital, it's required of doctors and nurses to wash their hands upon entering your room to see you. If you don't see them wash their hands, ask them to do so. That is why there are sinks in every room. Many of them do not wash their hands and that is why infections run rampant in hospitals. Another thing to consider is limiting the use of antibiotics and antibacterial products. People often overuse antibiotics and some doctors and pediatritians over-prescribe them. It's up to you to take charge of your health. You can choose to take or not to take medications. Your body was designed to be resiliant and taking antibiotics unless you are very ill will build your immunity to them. This means that when you need them to work, they won't.

To sum it up, there are simple steps to take to reduce exposure to superbugs. First, avoid medical procedures in foreign countries; especially unnecessary ones and ones done in countries with limited medical advances and medications. Second, avoid anti-microbial soaps and products. Third, stay away from antibiotics unless absolutely necessary and even then, use as a last resort.


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