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Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors

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  • Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors

    Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors
    Margo Myers
    KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Anchor

    UPDATED: 4:33 pm PDT May 11, 2006

    It's the health threat you haven't heard about.

    While bird flu is getting plenty of attention, doctors are increasingly worried about a new bacteria that's already here -- and in some cases, is proving deadly.

    They're anti-biotic resistant staph infections that once were found mainly in just hospitals. But now you can catch it anywhere.

    32-year-old Conal Groom is an Olympic-class rower who landed in the hospital in early February with a sharp pain. "I couldn't move my neck. (I) felt like I had a high temperature, just felt miserable," he said.

    More than two months later, Groom is just getting back onto the water.

    Video: Doctors Concerned About Antibiotic-Resistant Infection

    Doctors diagnosed his pain as an antibiotic resistant staph infection known as methillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA.

    "I was surprised, shocked and not 100 percent sure they were right," Groom said.

    Doctors were right.

    It infected his spine, lungs and chest.

    Groom went from training about five hours a day to lying in a hospital bed, worried about his health -- even his life.

    Two surgeries later, he still had to have five weeks of IV antibiotics and is now on another three months of oral antibiotics to kill the infection.

    Where'd he pick it up?

    "I'm not sure," he said.

    It used to be that people picked up antibiotic-resistant staph infections mainly in hospitals.

    In the past couple of years, that's changed.

    "In fact, if you look at new cases of MRSA, overwhelming majority of cases coming in from the community into the hospital as opposed to other way around,
    " said Dr. Tim Dellit, an infectious disease specialist at Harborview Medical Center.

    He says the number of cases contracted in the community -- for example, in gyms, among athletic teams, inside jails, or nursing homes -- is up 50 to 60 percent in the past couple of years.

    The frightening part?

    "In fact, we face patients who have infections that we have no antibiotic options to treat them," Dellit said.

    Our area has seen several cases of necrotizing fasciitis, the so-called "flesh eating disease." It's generally caused by strep bacteria. But there is evidence MRSA might also be a cause in some cases.

    The disease is difficult to treat, often fatal.

    In March of this year, 52-year-old Julie Tietel, from Federal Way cut her leg shaving, went to the hospital, but was sent home.

    She died two days later.

    Last month, 47-year-old Edward Kopfman, from Kirkland was first diagnosed with shingles.

    A week later, the bacteria moved so quickly -- in spite of surgery -- doctors couldn't save him.

    Now some hospitals automatically treat skin infections as MRSA until tests prove otherwise to keep infections from spreading.

    "There's not any way to tell who's at risk (and) who's not at risk, so we just need to assume that when people come in with infections, it could be this strain," said Dr. John Pauk, Director of Infectious Disease at Swedish Medical Center.

    As for Conal Groom, he still hopes to make the Olympics in 2008, but training this season is over.

    "This season is written off," Groom said. "I'd be happy if I could start my fulltime training program in September."

    Why the big jump in community acquired staph infections?

    Dr. Dellit believes much of it's due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics.

    To help protect yourself -- doctors can't stress it enough -- wash your hands often with soap and water.

    And if you have a cut or pimple or something that looks like a spider bite that doesn't heal get to your doctor right away to have it checked.

    Copyright 2006 by

  • #2
    Re: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors

    This has implications for those who survive a pandemic.
    Last edited by Mellie; May 12, 2006, 05:16 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors

      My daughter picked up MRSA in a hospital setting 2-1/2 years ago. She spent over a year going to a wound care specialist. She had central line in her chest and received intravenous antibiotics daily - including weekends. She was treated with many new antibiotics: but the most successful appeared to have been cubisin.

      She had an unusual array of treatments besides antibiotics including - biofilm based wound management, debridement of wound using both mechanical and ultrasound technology, phage, viruses that invade bacterial cells and kill the bacteria. I don't think that the docs know which treatment finally worked.

      Finally, last February she was released. But, there are still concerns about damage especially to her kidneys from the treatment. The total cost for the treatment of this infection was well over $350,000.

      Even if these type of treatments can eventually work, the cost to society could be so high it staggers the mind. Can we really afford this?


      • #4
        Re: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors

        Susceptibility of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia.

        Carson CF, Cookson BD, Farrelly HD, Riley TV.

        Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Nedlands.

        All 66 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus tested were susceptible to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree oil, in disc diffusion and modified broth microdilution methods. Of the isolates tested, 64 were methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and 33 were mupirocin-resistant. The MIC and MBC for 60 Australian isolates were 0.25% and 0.50%, respectively. Comparable results were obtained by co-workers in Britain using similar methods. These in-vitro results suggest tea tree oil may be useful in the treatment of MRSA carriage.

        PMID: 7782258 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

        All 66 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus tested were susceptible to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree oil, in disc diffusion and modified broth microdilution methods. Of the isolates tested, 64 were methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and 33 were mupirocin-resistant. The MI …


        • #5
          Teatree oil for MRSA

          How would this be administered? Topically or ingested or other? I have a friend who is paraplegic and gets such infections occasionally.

          Last week he said he started a

          rifantrim(sp?) & bactrum cocktail
          </pre> and had an allergic reaction to the rifantrim.

          If he were to try teatree oil, how would he do it?

          He'd need to look in that ref for drug interactions Shannon provided a link to to see if it would interact with any of his other meds.

          Thanks for any info.



          • #6
            Re: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors

            Topically, is the only way to suggest it, altought in Australia, they take few drops of it internal in South Wales.

            On the skin make sure that your oil has around 15% of cineole contents, (skin penetration properties) cineole is one of the two major elements of Melaleuca Alternifolia, the other being terpenes, known for its anti-microbian properties and this these terpenes are efficient anti-microbian.

            Other Melaleuca might not have an off terpenes.


            • #7
              Re: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors

              Strain Of Super Bacteria Kills High School Student

              POSTED: 6:12 pm PDT May 12, 2006
              UPDATED: 6:12 pm PDT May 12, 2006

              BAKRESFIELD -- The Kern County Health Department will be starting an investigation team to track cases of a potentially deadly super bacteria.

              The bacteria is called Staphylococcus Aureus, and is basically a staph infection.

              But in the last 10 years, deadly antibiotic resistant strains have been taking over, and that's what killed Corey Wilson when it got into his lungs.

              Wilson was a healthy North High freshman up until just a few weeks ago when he came down with flu-like symptoms.

              Within 20 days, he was dead.

              He had somehow picked up super strain of a bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus.

              It can be found on many people and does no harm, but in recent years, antibiotic restraint strains have been causing several skin infections, and even death.

              The infections are commonly picked up in hospitals through cross-contamination.

              It is believed Corey got his somewhere else.

              The Health Department doesn't know how many super strain infections we encounter, but doctors are not required to report them.

              However, Dr. B.A. Jinadu said he will form a team to find out the number of cases and where people are becoming infected with the bacteria.

              In the meantime, Corey's family and friends are holding car washes to help pay for his burial expenses.

              The final car wash will be held Saturday at Sonic on Roberts Lane in Oildale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

              The super bug strains are developing because of the misuse and over use of antibiotic medication.

              The best way to protect yourself is wash your hands often, keep wounds clean and covered, and even though this is antibacterial sanitizer, Jinadu said it is ok to use, and it will help cut down on contamination.
              "Predictable is Preventable" by Safety Expert Dr. Gordon Graham.


              • #8
                Re: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Alarms Doctors


                This is a good example where Melaleuca Alternifolia can indeed make a difference.

                You rob just under your nose some High terpenes T-40, the volatile compound thus breath brings in anti-microbial effects.

                One more way to do it, boil some water, then put few drops and inhale while holding a towel over your head.

                And finally, for pneumonia, in the time of spanish flu, a warm clothes was put around the chest to open the pores of the skin, then they rub with the oil that has 15% of Cineole in it T-36, and then put another warm towel around the chest, repeat this each hour.