Phoenix-area hospitals fight highly toxic ‘supergerm’

The Arizona Republic reports: “Maricopa County health officials have confirmed that a relatively new, extremely toxic strain of bacteria has been found in hospitals and other health-care facilities in the Valley.

The germ, known as Clostridium difficile, has long plagued the medical profession and is blamed for an increasing amount of illness in patients.

But this is the first time the new strain, known in medical circles as ‘NAP1,’ is believed to have been linked to patient illness and deaths in Arizona, health officials said. It carries at least 20 times as much toxin as the original strain.

According to the county, at least 10 patients have fallen severely ill from this new type of C. diff since early March. Two of those who were infected have died, though the germ has not been named conclusively as the cause of death. All the patients were elderly and suffered from health problems.

‘Assuming this continues to evolve, it is going to be a real pain for our health-care communities,’ said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Like other ‘supergerms,’ all strains of C. diff are resistant to powerful antibiotics, and the infection is difficult and expensive to treat. The germ causes pronounced diarrhea and, in severe cases, can lead to inflammation of the colon, which can be fatal.

Healthy and younger people usually don’t get C. diff. Most cases occur in health-care facilities, and those represent only a small fraction of the tens of millions of admissions to U.S. hospitals and nursing homes every year. But the number of cases has risen sharply over the past decade, to nearly 500,000 in 2007, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (Pestilences are predicted as a latter day sign pointing to Christ’s return – Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8; Revelation 6:7, 8. See also the next report.)

Antibiotic Resistance Called Growing Threat to Human Health

Voice of America News reports: “Experts fear antibiotic resistance puts humans in danger of becoming nearly defenseless against some bacterial infections.

The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance one of the three greatest threats to human health.

The improper use of antibiotics has led to strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Experts say if efforts to combat the problem are not launched now, infections that were curable could make a dangerous comeback.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls on American lawmakers to address the problem.

‘We speak of the pre-antibiotic and antibiotic eras, but if we don’t improve our response to the public health problem of antibiotic resistance, we may enter a post- antibiotic world in which we will have few or no clinical interventions for some infections,’ he says.

Specialists are concerned that the more an antibiotic is used, the less effective it becomes. The genetic mutation of bacteria, which makes them resistant to antibiotics, is a natural process. But drug overuse has accelerated the process…” (Come quickly Lord Jesus – Revelation 22:20.)