virus
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Antibiotics

We live in a pill popping world. At the first sign of the sniffles we bundle our kids up and drag them down to the clinic for a prescription. Now admittedly there are plenty of occasions that we need and should take antibiotics, but you would have to be living under a rock not to realize that we are being over prescribed.

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This is creating a nightmare scenario in the form of superbugs that threaten our very existence on this planet. Now I know this sounds a little dramatic maybe even a little Hollywood, but the facts are all around us .

Less than a hundred years ago there was the Spanish Influenza. Coupled with the ending of World War 1, the returning troops created a worldwide pandemic that infected over 500 million people from one end of the earth to the other. The death toll was an incredible 50 to 100 million! That was 3 to 5 % of the planets population at the time.

 

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Or how about a little thing called the Black Death . It has been around for hundreds probably thousands of years. Popping up now and then and wiping out millions of people . The worst event recorded was in thirteenth century Medieval Europe leaving 25 million dead. That was an estimated third of all the population at the time.

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We also have our own epidemics such as aids. An estimated toll of 36 million have died since 1981. With another 35 million living with the disease and over 2 million new infections per year. We have been throwing billions at this antibiotic resistant disease for over thirty years and still haven't found a cure.

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What if a scratched knee, a bout of the flu or an infected ingrown toenail could kill you? Well unfortunately one day they just might.

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 Most of us have heard of penicillin. A wonderful man Alexander Fleming stumbled upon it in 1928. Since then it has saved untold millions from misery and death. Pharmaceutical companies worldwide now produce a myriad of antibiotics that seemingly are a cure-all for most ailments.

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 Or so we thought!!

 Over the last few years more and more antibiotic resistant strains have appeared around the world. Mutated versions of the old viruses and even some new ones. The medical community throws everything it has at them but they have nothing left in their arsenal.

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 One of the main reasons we are not producing any new antibiotics is money. To bring an antibiotic to market it takes about 20 years and upwards of 1.7 billion dollars! The pharmaceutical companies answer to their shareholders and it is more profitable to create a pill that causes an erection then a pill that may or may not cure an infection.

 We live in interesting times!

 Here is a list of some of the superbugs that pose a real and imminent danger to humanity. 

 

 M.R.S.A....Patients infected with(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are nearly 70% more likely to die than others that have a non-resistant  form of S. aureus.

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C. difficile......this bacterium produces spores that are resistant to high temperatures and are very difficult to destroy. It's spread through contaminated food and objects. It can cause blood poisoning and produce tears in the  large intestine.

 E. coli....this actually accounts for one-third of all bacterial infections in the blood. The new strain is resistant to most antibiotics. It is extremely contagious and is responsible for thousands of deaths and growing every year.

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Acinetobacter Baumannii.....a very common bacteria which is resistant to most antibiotics and is easily spread in hospital environments. It can cause meningitis and is fatal in over 80% of cases.

 C.R.K.P....... this  bacterium is associated with difficult to treat blood infections and meningitis, it resistant to just about all antibiotics and is fatal in over 50% of people who contract it.

 Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis....is responsible for 150,000 deaths a year and rising.

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 NDM-1....a recently discovered new bacteria in India that is resistant to all antibiotics!

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 So What Can We Do?

 Prescriptions

 If and when your prescribed an antibiotic, finish the prescription. One of the reasons a lot of these viruses mutate is that we almost kill them with the drugs. By not finishing them off, we let them up off their knees and they come back smarter. So the next batch of antibiotics has less effect and the doctor has to change the prescription.

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Hygiene     

                                                                                                                                                            A lot of diseases and food born illnesses are a result of poor hygiene habits. Wash your hands regularly . Avoid touching your hands to your eyes,mouth, and nose. Use hand sanitizer .

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                                                                                        Food Preparation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Wash your fruits and veggies. Store your meats at the right temperature on bottom of fridge. To avoid leakage from meat that may cross contaminate other foods. Rinse meat under cold water before prepping for cooking. Buy an electric temperature probe and make sure all meats are properly cooked to temperature before eating.

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 And Try to Stay Healthy!

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 In Conclusion    

 We live in a hostile world, as a species we have been on this earth a mere blink of an eye in comparison to other organisms. Viruses and bacteria have been around billions of years before us and I'm sure they will be around billions of years after we are gone. We have to find a way of avoiding infection from them, because it is blatantly obvious we cannot eradicate them.