Superbugs are a new scary reality. The bugs are resistant to antibiotics, they multiply by the billions, and they thrive in environments that would kill off most other living organisms.
As we continue to fight off every little sniffle, cut, and post surgery event with more and more antibiotics, the bugs continue to learn ways around those antibiotics.
Not only are the superbugs dangerous for our health, a study conducted by MPHonline.org has revealed the astronomical costs associated with fighting the antibiotic resistance bacteria. According to MPH antibiotic resistance infections are currently responsible for $20 billion in excess healthcare costs annually and $35 billion in societal costs. The superbugs are also responsible for 8 million additional hospital days.
The problem? Doctors currently administer upwards of 190 million doses of antibiotics daily, enough product to supply the entire human population with a single dose of antibiotics approximately one-time per month. Those 190 million daily doses are prescribed to 133 million patients annually through antibiotic regimes.
Superbugs and their antibiotic resistant strands are a very scary reality. The superbug known as Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has a 50 percent fatality rate and 19,000 patients in the US die each year from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, better known as MRSA.
The study does reveal some practical approaches for dealing with superbugs. For example, wash your hands after going to the bathroom and eat lots of oats and barley based foods and probiotics such as yogurt. Researchers also suggest sweet potatoes, watermelon, broccoli, and a lot of green tea. The latter is capable of boosting a persons antibiotic treatments by up to three times.
Bacteria is a tricky beast. On the one hand, it can be so easily destroyed with the right medications; on the other hand, it learns to fight back against its own killer, becoming ever so much stronger with each phase of its evolution.
Check out the infographic below to learn more about superbugs and how their antibiotics resistance is costing us money and lives.