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New “Superbug” from India/Pakistan

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Description: Scientists sound alarm bells while politicians shout, “Conspiracy!”
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Mefiante
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« on: August 17, 2010, 14:31:34 PM »

A new superbug mutation that confers resistance to virtually all antibiotics was recently identified in India and Pakistan.  Some news reports here and here; a summary of The Lancet paper here.

Two aspects of these findings are especially worrying.  First, there is good reason to suppose that the bug will spread very rapidly, primarily through being carried by people travelling between India/Pakistan and the UK.  Second, Indian politicians are slamming the study and the scientists’ warning noises because, predictably, they’re more concerned about national revenues than taking a cautious approach to a clear and present danger – see here and here.

'Luthon64
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Faerie
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 15:24:16 PM »

Its overdue imo. And with the first death reported in Europe, its bound to spread a tad more panic than last year's flu did.

Watch and see.
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GCG
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 15:53:31 PM »

there are more bugs around than people, that's a known fact, and with humans starting to encroach more and more into areas / sources, the more dormant bugs are being exposed, and finds new hosts.  and i think, too, with all the chemicals abound in just about everything we consume, our bodies are more prone to remix stuff.  my thoughts anyway.  i think too, that bugs are getting more resistant to the meds we throw at it, and are changing to keep up.
sad but true, too many people on the earth.  only way to reduce numbers:  disease and war.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 17:37:31 PM »

Oh look, evolution is happening right before us, who would've thunk? Oh wait no, it's gods (new) ultimate plan to spread disease, death and misery, again. Rejoice! He exists!

On a serious note, I've noticed that this year's flu was a right bitch. A LOT of people I know have had it (myself included), and the thing just didn't (in everyone I've talked to) respond to antibiotics or anything else for that matter. Most got better after a week, only to get worse again. More antibiotics, more no response.... I'd say, based on my observations of those around me, most took around a month to fully recover. That's longer than usual, and really has me worried about what the next strains are gonna be like.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 18:18:07 PM »

On a serious note, I've noticed that this year's flu was a right bitch. A LOT of people I know have had it (myself included), and the thing just didn't (in everyone I've talked to) respond to antibiotics or anything else for that matter. Most got better after a week, only to get worse again. More antibiotics, more no response....
Flu is actually a viral infection and viruses are immune to antibiotics.  The reason doctors prescribe antibiotics in cases of flu (which, really, they should only do in extreme, almost-at-death’s-door cases) is to prevent secondary and opportunistic bacterial infections from taking hold of the patient with an already-weakened immune system.  The best flu preventative is to go have a flu shot every year in late autumn/early winter.  They’re effective though not a 100% certain to prevent flu because of the rapid mutation rate of these viruses.  The shot is also much cheaper than the meds for treating one or two bouts of flu.

ETA: There is also a psychological angle at work here.  Doctors often prescribe meds, including antibiotics, because they believe that the patient has an expectation that something helpful can be administered (which hints at the power and prevalence of the placebo effect).  As some wag once put it (with apologies as I can’t immediately find the source or correct wording), “With treatment, the common cold takes two weeks to clear up completely; left untreated, it takes fourteen days.”

'Luthon64
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 18:43:57 PM by Mefiante, Reason: Reason » Logged
BoogieMonster
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 09:25:03 AM »

*slaps forehead*

Yes I'm being an idiot.
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Hermes
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 13:28:16 PM »

Flu is actually a viral infection and viruses are immune to antibiotics.  The reason doctors prescribe antibiotics in cases of flu (which, really, they should only do in extreme, almost-at-death’s-door cases) is to prevent secondary and opportunistic bacterial infections from taking hold of the patient with an already-weakened immune system.

The last time I visited a GP for flu (which was very long ago) I insisted that he must not prescribe antibiotics.   What was left anyone could buy over the counter.   Unless one has very severe infections, the only purpose I can see in visiting a GP for flu is to obtain a certificate for absence from work or to get a medical aid to pay for the symptomatic medcine.

The relationship between flu and temperature has interested me for a long time.   People have all kinds of ideas like "a heater gives me flu" or you can "sweat out" the disease.   Recent research indicates why the flu virus is more infectious in cold winter temperatures, but resting and keeping warm my also play a part in recovery.
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