Medical Minute: Some facts on superbugs

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By The Staff

Patients often approach their physicians with questions spurred by something they’ve seen on TV or read in a newspaper.

Recently, a member of LAMC’s medical staff received this question from a patient: “What is LAMC doing about ‘superbugs’?”

 What are superbugs?

Even in a state of health, the body houses many germs. Germs such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites can enter the body through tubes, needles, open skin, eyes, nose and mouth.  

When an individual is unable to fight the germ, it grows and multiplies causing an infection. People at high risk for infections include the elderly, surgery patients, young children, transplant and cancer patients and people in hospitals, nursing homes and institutions.

Superbugs, are those germs that can cause serious, sometimes even fatal, infections. They are smart bugs that have learned to resist certain antibiotics and conventional treatments. Widespread use and often misuse of antibiotics have contributed to their proliferation.

Two of the most common are Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus (MRSA).

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