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The Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria are More Resistant Than We Previously Thought


A dangerous type of superbug has more tricks up its sleeves than we may be giving it credit for, a new study suggests.

The researchers found that this class of bacteria, CREs — that’s short for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae — has more ways to evade antibiotics than have been currently identified, and that these bugs share their tricks readily across the families of bacteria that make up this grouping.

Further, the authors suggest these bacteria may be spreading more stealthily than existing surveillance can detect.

“You know the phrase ‘Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted?’ The horse has not only bolted, the horse has had a lot of ponies, and they’re eating all our carrots,” said Bill Hanage, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and senior author of the study.

https://www.statnews.com/2017/01/16/cre-superbug/

People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
- Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Comments

  • GrumpyGuy_MOD_GrumpyGuy_MOD_ Moderator
    edited January 18
    Many researchers seem to be cautioning that these resistant bacteria are the biggest threat currently facing humanity.  Absolute crisis-level and far bigger than any threats related to politics or the economy.  In spite of that, I don't really get the impression that humanity has caught on to the threat.  News articles pop up from time to time, and people tsk appropriately, then go back to reading about Donald Trump, Syria and the economy.

    I wonder if we're not far away from a modern-day version of the Black Death emerging.  Thanks to airports and sea travel we're all connected, and we don't have the systems in place to control the spread of a global bacterial super-plague until it's already too late.  The scientists themselves say the bug can evade their best surveillance efforts.  By the time we know there's a serious issue, there will already be infected people everywhere.

    Example:  Last month I caught a cold from the school where I work.  I then traveled to Canada and transmitted the cold to my parents.  The virus traveled 10,000km in a single day.  What's to stop these super-resistant, hard-to-detect bacteria from doing the same?

    What's interesting is that such a disaster is supported by both scientific and religious evidence.  From the scientific side, populations that get out of control tend to end up getting balanced by disease, starvation and loss of habitat.  Humans are animals, and we're pretty out of control. 

    As far as religion goes, there are numerous examples of populations of sinful, unrepentant people being wiped out by God.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I think that a deadly microscopic organism that defies our greatest medical achievements is a prime example of poetic justice. 

    Past communities were smitten by any number of things that defied their own proud achievements, such as city walls, large armies and vast wealth.  Defiance of our precious science seems like a very fitting message for the modern community, which is now more or less global, to digest.

    Think of it this way - science is one of the greatest threats to belief, because it offers answers that you don't have to prove by yourself.  Many people worship science, scientific accomplishments and scientists themselves.  Many people point to science as definitive proof that God cannot exist, even though such "proofs" are merely beliefs themselves.  Populations of such people are growing exponentially around the world.

    Worse yet, I see constant examples of people who think that, through science, *we* have become "gods" ourselves.  Is there any worse blasphemy than declaring yourself to be God?

    Is it justice time for mankind?  It seems that soon, indeed, it will be.

    I imagine a global superbug will be just one of the many catastrophes that strike us in the future.
    People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
    - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    While man-made "solutions" seem to all be failing, natural "created" solutions might still hold up just fine. There are a lot of alternatives, natural ones, to these harsh antibiotics pushed upon people.
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Manuka (ti tree) honey and colloidal silver are two I can think of.

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • GrumpyGuy_MOD_GrumpyGuy_MOD_ Moderator
    edited January 18
    I think a problem facing the alternative medicines is that many of them have only anecdotal evidence backing up their efficacy.  Until proper testing can be done using the scientific method (which isn't going to happen because the people who fund medical research profit off of manufactured drugs), only fringe elements of society will be vocal about the alternatives.  That isn't to say anecdotes are necessarily wrong, but there are certainly a lot of "snake oils" and snake oil salespeople out there. 

    The scientific method is good because it works:  you test something again and again and again until you no longer have any doubt as to the result.  It can be applied to everything, even spiritual matters.  That said, it's meaningless and even dangerous if the wrong people are behind it, because numbers are as easy to fudge as gas is to pass.  Finding fully trustworthy researchers to test these alternatives will be a challenge, but one I think needs to be overcome in the near future.

    Another point is that a trap some people fall into is automatically trusting the makers or sources of alternative medicines because they dislike and don't trust big drug companies.  A merchant is a merchant, however, and anyone selling anything should be treated with scrutiny.  For every person who knows their stuff about herbology and chemistry, there is a psychic snake oil salesman peddling trinkets and placebos.  The wheat must be separated from the chaff, but no one really does that because where would they even begin?  People believe what they want to believe anyway, often even when (and sometimes especially when) things have been disproven.

    Given that other people can't necessarily be trusted, the best medicine remains that which you apply to yourself:

    Good hygiene, a healthy diet with proper hydration, sufficient exercise and rest, study and introspection, laughter and, of course, good spiritual behaviour.

    If you're healthy and happy you'll be both less likely to get sick and more likely to recover quickly and without medicines. 

    Sad, dumb fat people are more susceptible to illness and injury.  I've been there - it's brought upon oneself, as your immune system and physical capabilities are sabotaged by your own behaviour.



    People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
    - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
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