What Superbug Hunters Know That We Don’t

By Matt McCarthy: For More Info, Go Here…

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are everywhere. If your hospital claims it doesn’t have them, it isn’t looking hard enough.

Hospitals are losing an important public relations battle over the expanding threat of superbugs, including the deadly fungus Candida auris. Though states are tasked with conducting outbreak investigations, they aren’t required to disclose their findings to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and in many cases they haven’t). Grieving families are pushing for more transparency, while patient advocates smell a cover-up, likening the scenario to a restaurant failing to report an outbreak of food poisoning. In the midst of all this mistrust, hospital spokesmen are declining to comment. This is a mistake.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but these microbes are in our homes, cars and grocery stores. One study found that even after the use of disinfectant, more than half of hospital rooms still contain a superbug. Nurses and doctors carry these things around, too. Roughly 5 percent of health care workers are colonized with MRSA, a bacterium that kills thousands of people in the United States every year, and another study found that 10 percent of patients entering a hospital had a multidrug-resistant species on their hands. You don’t want to know what’s hiding on a handkerchief.

Here’s the thing: You almost certainly don’t need to worry about any of this. Potentially deadly bacteria and fungi live harmlessly on our hands, feet, and faces, and may never cause a problem. There are trillions of bacteria living inside all of us. Why are we pretending they aren’t on our gurneys, blood pressure cuffs and X-ray machines?

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