Tag Archives: superbug

SuperBug Claims Another Life in Maryland

Superbug Continues to Spread

A drug resistant superbug has been going around at a Maryland heath clinical center. The latest victim is a 7 year old boy. This little boy was the 19th patient to become infected with Klebsiella pneumoniae.

superbug spreads

The bacteria’s appearance was traced to a New York woman who was treated at the facility in August 2011. So how did it infect this little boy from so long ago? The boy had gone to a Bethesda hospital in April for treatment of complications from a bone marrow transplant.  His underlying condition did increase his risk for a superbug infection. The hospital claims to to have gone through intensive efforts to wipe out the superbugs. The prior patient was on the same floor as the boy. The boy was found with the infection from a routine rectal swab test. That test was a new measure put in the hospital since the superbug infected patients.

The physician researcher at the hospital John Gillan said  “The boy probably got this infection because a patient who was a carrier (of the superbug) was on the same unit. There was undoubtedly some intrahospital transmission despite our best efforts.” 

It’s been over a year since the Los Angeles reported their superbug alert as they reported over 350 cases in hospitals and nursing homes there. What can be done to protect patents who go to hospitals, clinics or nursing homes to get better and stay in them because of a superbug transmission?

 CDC Guidelines To Prevent MRSA From Spreading:


  • Hand Washing – Something so simple but not always done. Hand washing should be done after taking off gloves and in between each patient visit. Even if a healthcare worker is working on a patient and comes upon blood or bodily fluids they should re-wash their hands. It could cause cross contamination of the superbug between body parts if they don’t.
  • Gloves – Always wear gloves when the patient may have blood or bodily fluids coming into contact with you. Do NOT wash the gloves to use again.
  • Eye, Hand, Nose Protection – Masks and goggles should be worn if any bodily fluids or blood could come in contact with your face.
  • Gowning – Wear a gown to protect skin from any blood or bodily fluid splashing upon you.
  • Instruments – Must be thoroughly cleaned and reprocessed before using on another patient.
  • Laundry – Handle, transport and process used linen to avoid any contamination of air, surface or persons.
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Have you or someone you know come across the MRSA superbug?

Researchers Uncover How Common Hospital Bacterium Becomes a Deadly Superbug

October 16, 2011

Researchers from an international team led by Monash University have uncovered how a common hospital bacterium becomes a deadly superbug that kills large numbers of hospital patients worldwide plus an estimated $3.2 billion each year in health care costs in the US alone.

Superbugs in hospital

Superbugs in hospital are deadly and costly

They have linked a naturally occurring mutation in the microorganism Clostridium difficile to severe and debilitating diarrhoea in hospital patients undergoing antibiotic therapy. These antibiotics destroy the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, which allows this ‘bad’ bacterium to colonise the colon, where it causes bowel infections that are difficult to treat.

“The mutation wipes out the built in disease regulator producing hypervirulent strains of C. difficile that are resistant to antibiotics and which have been found to circulate in Canada, the US, UK, Europe and Australia,” Dr Lyras says.

Now that the researchers have a better understand of how these strains can attack they can better find ways to prevent and control them.

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New Gonorrhea Strain Resistant to Antibiotics

By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com

Worried scientists have confirmed with the World Health Organization that a new, mutant strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to antibiotics has been isolated in a sex trade worker in Japan.

The strain that used to be easily treated with penicillin and other antibiotics but is now feared to have mutated into a super-bug.  Swedish researches say if it spreads now they don’t know what would be the recommended treatment.

Gonorrhoea bacteria

Gonorrhea bacteria

An entire symposium at the meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research -which attracts experts from microbiology, virology and immunobiology, behavioural sciences, public health and prevention policy -will be devoted to the subject at the meeting today.

Historically, new strains have emerged in the western Pacific region, Japan or Korea, and then rapidly spread globally.  This new strain, dubbed H041, has proven resistance to the last remaining treatment option available, cephalosporins, a fourth generation class of antibiotics.

According to the CDC, there are an estimated 700,000 new cases of gonorrhea in the U.S. each year.  Gonorrhoea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world.

Gonorrhea can show up without symptoms in 50 percent of infected women. Most infected men find it extremely painful (about two to five per cent do not have symptoms) and describe it as like urinating razor blades.

Untreated, gonorrhea can lead to severe, life-threatening complications if it spreads to the blood and the joints, in both men and women.

The best way to avoid the spread of this new super-bug is prevention. Use latex condoms when with a new partner and get tested regularly. Any symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination or an unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex and see a doctor immediately. If tested positive one should notify their recent partners so they can be tested too and avoid spreading the infection further.

New Strain of MRSA Found in Humans and Cows

By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com

New Strain of MRSA Found

The study, led by Dr Mark Holmes at the University of Cambridge, identified the new strain in milk from dairy cows while researching mastitis (a bacterial infection which occurs in the cows’ udders).

The new strain’s genetic makeup differs greatly from previous strains, which means that the ‘gold standard’ molecular tests currently used to identify MRSA – a polymerase chain reaction technique (PCR) and slide agglutination testing – do not detect this new strain. The research findings are published today in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Staph infection at a vaccination site resulting in cellulites.

To find these strains in humans and cows is worrisome but pasteurization of milk will stop it from entering the food supply.  Workers at dairy farms could have a higher chance of contracting MRSA.

The scientists discovered the antibiotic resistant strain while researching S. aureus, a bacterium known to cause bovine mastitis. Despite the strain being able to grow in the presence of antibiotics, when they attempted to use the standard molecular tests available – which work by identifying the presence of the gene responsible for methicillin resistance (the mecA gene) – the tests came back negative for MRSA.

The new strain was found in samples in Scotland, England, Denmark, Ireland and Germany.  Scientists are not sure whether the cows are infecting people or if people are infecting the cows.

Not all MRSA or Staph infections will require antibiotics, but some will. And, some strains of MRSA are now resistant to all antibiotics. Using the incorrect antibiotic can increase your chances of MRSA. Antibiotics should be used prudently, as their overuse and misuse has created antibiotic-resistant Superbugs like MRSA.

If you are in the healthcare be sure to always wash hands properly, disinfect all surfaces and wear protective medical uniforms.  And stay tuned for the latest health updates on infectious diseases here at the HighTechnologyScrubs blog. We welcome your comments here too!