BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) – The World Health Organization is looking at some tiny microbes and seeing a large-scale problem, issuing their first report on the escalating antibiotic resistance with every country is on the list.
“In places like the U.S., we’ve been on top of this for a long time,” says Dr. Zane Saul of Bridgeport Hospital.
It’s nothing new to Saul — chief of infectious diseases at the hospital — where policies are in place to fight back the so-called superbugs.
“We’ve had isolation polices that have been in effect — anybody that has a resistant bacteria that gets admitted to a hospital gets placed in isolation room — anybody going into visit or caring for the patient wears protective gear so they don’t spread it to other patients in the hospital,” he says.
The small organisms are closely monitored in the lab — on a daily basis.
“Identifying them quickly and making sure there is no trend, no spread, to specific parts of the hospital,” Saul said.
Antibiotics were developed in the last century prior to World War II. Before penicillin and other antibiotics were available, pneumonia and skin infections were deadly.
There are still antibiotics available — though limited says Saul — but unless new drugs are developed — minor injuries and simple infections may no longer be treated.
“Gonorrhea has been identified as a superbug, because it is not longer killed by any oral antibiotics and to treat gonorrhea effectively in most parts of the world you need to use an injection of an antibiotic,” Saul said.
Taking antibiotics only when needed — is vital — so when really necessary — lives will be saved.
“The less often that you take them, the more they are going to work for you and that you have not exposed your body to antibiotics unnecessarily — potentially allowing the good bacteria in your body to develop resistance and that’s where all this stems from,” Saul said.
Bridgeport Hospital is also closely monitoring its antibiotic use — making sure the drug is pinpointed for the specific bacteria — infecting the patient.
Remember, washing hands is also key to stopping the spread of germs.