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January 6, 2014

Read an interesting article about Superbugs recently in the December Rotarian. The article refers to “drug – resistant superbugs as ‘nightmare bacteria.’” And it tells what is bringing these superbugs along.

“Counterfeit drugs, self – medication, and limited access to medical care contribute to antibiotic resistance, as these factors may lead to incorrect dosages that do not kill all bacteria. Pediatricians wrote more than 10 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions each year from 2006 to 2008, for ailments such as the flu, bronchitis, asthma, and allergies, which are not caused by bacteria. Half of all antibiotic prescriptions are for broad – spectrum drugs that wipe out the body’s good bacteria too.

“Taking carbapenems (powerful antibiotics used as a last resort) may increase your risk of contracting a carbapenem – resistant superbug by a factor of 15. Scientists haven’t discovered any new classes of antibiotics since 1987.

“Nearly half of all soaps on the market in the United States are antibacterial, which may encourage the growth of superbugs.

“Some drug – resistant superbugs kill up to 50% of the people they infect. In the first half of 2012, about 4% of short – stay hospitals and 18% of long – term care hospitals in the United States reported infections involving bacteria resistant to carbapenems. The bacteria, which usually live in the gut, can enter the body through medical devices such as ventilators or though wounds.

“Superbugs kill 23,000 people each year in the country. In 2008, at least 150,000 people were killed worldwide by multidrug – resistant tuberculosis.

“Food – safety precautions will protect against bacteria, including drug – resistant strains. To slow the rate at which bacteria evolve into superbugs, doctors shouldn’t try to treat viral infections with antibiotics, should avoid prescribing mild doses of antibiotics over long periods, and should use a combination of antibiotics rather than increasing the dose when they encounter an infection that isn’t responding. Patients should take care of their pills.”

I am no doctor and I suspect the Rotarian isn’t probably the best information on medicine that is obtainable. But there is a point in this article. Our stupidity (not only doctors) is making us get sicker. Quit sharing your prescriptions. Quit taking only a portion of your prescription. Quit thinking you know more than the doctor.

Now, you should know, I’m preaching to myself. I am not the one who thinks a pill makes everything better. I tend to think a fever means my body is fighting something and I let it fight. But I do tend to try to do almost anything before going to the doctor. We should all be smarter.

And besides not being stupid with meds, we can get smarter with our Epic Saturday classes! Jan. 10 is Stampin’ It with Sharlene Wale at The Studio, 3rd and Roosevelt. Sat., Jan. 11 is the Shutterbugs from 10 – noon at the Main Street Guymon office, and the Transformers are going that day to visit the Open Cross Ranch. Transformers meet at 1 at the Main Street Guymon office.

Be sure to put Jan. 18 on your calendar to attend the Crop Out Cancer for Lori event. Call Denise Gebara at Hitch Enterprises for more information on that event.

It’s a great year, isn’t it?

See you on the bricks!