Superbug Prevention

10:40 AM


Superbugs are the super villains of bacteria. They've adapted and become immune to antibiotics. Killing these super germs and trying to prevent them is tough, but parents can work to protect their children and themselves in different ways.

Superbug Madness 

Cold and flu season is the time it seems you may be at the doctor more than your kids are at school. Many doctors take their prescription pad and quickly write out something for antibiotics. Antibiotics haven't been around forever. Centuries ago millions died of basic infections. In 1928 Alexander Fleming stumbled across penicillin and medication was forever changed. Millions of lives were saved. Malaria and polio didn't pose such a risk anymore. This was all great, but antibiotics began to treat everything. They work quickly, but abusing them is leading to these superbugs. Once you take so many antibiotics, your body starts to become resistant to that strain. This means the bug is ready to live happily making the patient sicker over time.

Other Medication 

One place parents can start before turning to antibiotics is by trying over the counter cold and flu medication. It might not solve all the issues, but many times the sickness is viral instead of bacterial in the first place, so taking the antibiotics is doing nothing for the bug anyway. Many times there is no miracle drug that's going to make you feel totally better. A cold can make you feel miserable even if you're downing cough medication. Antibiotics won't lessen fever so acetaminophen and ibuprofen are totally separate to take for that job. Cuts and scrapes also aren't affected by antibiotics so topical solutions work to fight infection there. Over the counter medication can always be a place to start before you pull out the big guns of antibiotics.

Injuries

Before using antibiotics to lessen the fear of infection from injury, try bandages first. An open wound can easily get infected if not treated properly. Surgical skin adhesives like Dermabond glues the sides around the injury closed to lessen the fear of bacteria entering the wound. This usually improves healing rates as well. If you can avoid the use of stitches, do so. Surgical strips, band-aids and skin adhesives help with healing faster and the fear of bacteria is not as imminent.

Natural Medicine

There's often debate over natural medications. There is no harm in trying to heal yourself with natural remedies. You just need to monitor your body in case the infection gets worse if the natural medication does not work. Many people swear by essential oils that are often taken from the immune systems of plants. Many have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. They are made of thousands of compounds working together to fight infection instead of the one chemical component in antibiotics. Garlic has been used for centuries to fight infection. It contains a natural antimicrobial substance called allicin when it is processed correctly. Holistic health care professionals can help guide you through homeopathic ways to combat infection.

Only Use Antibiotics When Essential 

It's important to know when antibiotics are essential. If you take one round of this medication, you could risk increasing a superbug population of 50 percent. The medication doesn't just affect the bacteria making you ill, but also other parts of your body. It could affect the bacteria in your gut or in your nose. These are areas where bacteria is good used as natural defense against infection. Superbugs can be stopped dead in their tracks if we work together to ensure antibiotics are used in a safe way. Cold and flu should never be treated with antibiotics because these are viral infections. Always take the entire treatment even if you feel better. If you stop the treatment early, the drug resistant bacteria has time to survive and can spread. Always follow the doctor's orders. Always wash your hands and practice good hygiene. By following these steps, superbugs don't have a fighting chance. The future generations depend on our choices today when it comes to medication. Different bugs are always morphing and threatening the next generation's health. It's up to us to work to stop them today.

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