The CDC has a new warning about nightmare bacteria. It’s a bacteria with unusual resistance to antibiotics, and 50 percent of the people who contract it die.
So far, there are more than 200 superbugs and doctors say there could be more out there.
“Chemotherapy makes you immunocompromised, so no matter where I am or where I go, I have to be conscientious of that. Even during the times when my counts are up, they’re still not like a normal person,” said Sandy Rogers, a patient at Tampa General Hospital.
Sandy Rogers has AML leukemia and is waiting for a stem cell transplant. She’s been in and out of the hospital for four months and it’s patients like her who face a greater risk of catching a superbug.
“I do have to be conscientious of that and try to use hand sanitizer and all that kind of thing. I get a little uncomfortable around someone who might be sneezing, which I never paid attention to before now. Shaking hands, hugging someone, all of that,” said Rogers.
These antibiotic-resistant germs are comparable to what staph infection was years ago. Now, staph infections can be treated. But there are no known antibiotics that can kick a superbug.
“Well your immune system, and sometimes if there is an infection that we can remove through a drain or through surgery,” said Dr. Douglas Holt, director of the division of infectious diseases at USF College of Medicine.
The bacteria most commonly is found in health care facilities but doctors say overdoing it on antibiotics leads to this problem.
“You get an antibiotic for your sinus infection – it may just be allergies. You could develop a resistant organism that still can be treated but now it has to be treated with more expensive or more potent and sometimes toxic antibiotics than the simple one like a plain penicillin,” said Dr. Holt.
The germs kill more than 23,000 Americans a year. Doctors are now trying to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
“Infection prevention – which is good hand washing, gowns and gloves when appropriate. And early identification. If we identify one of these we put a patient in special isolation,” said Dr. Holt.