Avoiding Scary Superbugs
In the flu and cold season, more attention is given to bacteria.
However, there are other things we should think about. One important consideration is how to avoid scary superbugs and fight bacteria that are resistant to anti-biotic treatment. Recently the PBS documentary series, Frontline explored the increasing number of infections that are proving resistant to all anti-biotic treatment. This very thought provoking documentary explores the existence of “superbugs” that have become resistant to normal treatment. More shocking is the revelation that the superbugs are not new discoveries, but new strains of old familiar viruses, like Staph bacteria that cause septic shock.
Three cases of illnesses resistant to antibacterial treatment are reviewed in this PBS Newshour article, Has the age of antibiotics come to an end? The article covers a Frontline report that delves into the possibility of a “post-antibiotic era”. The episode is called, “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria” which you can find here on YouTube. Unfortunately, you will have to pay $1.99 to watch the full episode. There is another excellent YouTube available free documentary from Journeyman Pictures, The Rise of Superbugs Resistant to Antibiotics that you may check out as well.
The question is, are we entering a time when our most potent antibiotics are ineffective against superbugs?
The CDC and medical institutions urge us to wash our hands with soap and water and to get a flu shot. Is this enough protection? Perhaps this approach doesn’t fully reflect how the human and Earth ecosystems function.
Recent findings in the Microbiome Project show that the human body contains human cells and microbial cells. Microbial cells are bacterial and fungus microorganisms. The most surprising finding is that microbial cells outnumber our human cells by 10 to 1! According to Jeff Leach, co-director of the Human Food Project.
“We are more microbe than mammal and thus reliant upon this dynamic and diverse ecosystem within for proper functioning.” Jeff Leach proposes getting ourselves reaquainted with our bacterial friends, or to at least stop trying to avoid them using antibiotics.
When one organism is dramatically diminished – like fragile good bacteria from using anti-bacterial medications and products, fungus moves in to take the space.
Like the soil, rivers, lakes, and other animals, our flora and fauna is kept in balance primarily by the antagonistic relationship between bacteria and fungus. When one organism is dramatically diminished – like fragile good bacteria from using anti-bacterial medications and products, fungus moves in to take the space. “Nature abhors a vacuum” and sturdier, more resistant fungi take over, easily adapting to and resisting anti-biotic and fungicidal treatments.
Can we prevent the imbalance in our microbiomes and avoid superbugs infection?
By adapting a few practices we are able to assist in keeping our environment’s flora and fauna in harmony:
- Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps, dish detergents and hand sanitizers
- Avoid using anti-septic cleansers
- Use basic soaps (such as olive oil soap) and cleansers
- Use baking soda as a cleanser as it is anti-fungal and kills fungus
- Avoid taking antibiotics when you have a cold, flu or viral infection
We know that this advice is not what the “experts” are telling us. However, making every effort to avoid scary superbugs by reducing the amount of bacteria killers you use on yourself and your environment dramatically impacts our ability to stay healthy. And, ultimately, these actions will impact our larger ecosystem, helping to keep all of Earth’s inhabitants healthy.