For many years too many physicians prescribed antibiotics for the common cold and other mild illnesses resulting in germs becoming so resistant to antibiotics that today there are once again many dangerous germs that doctors have to be aware of and try to treat.
HIV- Human Immunodeficiency Virus
HIV or Aids is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency virus and has become the most deadly virus known to man, claiming over three million lives every year, in both developed and undeveloped countries. The HIV virus is thought to have started in the Sub-Saharan areas of Africa where it claims the lives of more people than in any other area of the world. HIV is spread through the contact of body fluids including semen, saliva, breast milk, blood, tears and vaginal fluids. This makes sexual contact the easiest way to contract HIV. Drug users who share needles and babies whose mother is infected are also high risk groups. HIV causes a host of health complications which eventually end in death, including various types of herpes and pneumonia. Even in the most developed countries there is neither a vaccine nor a cure for HIV infected people. The disease can be staved off for some time through the use of antiretroviral drugs which slow the progression; however, this is but a battle win, the HIV virus ultimately wins the war and claims victory in death.
Ebola is a virus that causes EBH or Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The virus is named for the Ebola River in the Congo where it was first discovered. Once contracted, the virus interferes with blood coagulation and with the cells lining the blood vessels. Patients most always die. When first contracted, Ebola is not contagious; however, as the disease progresses and body fluids become voluminous the disease spreads easily through vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhea. It takes six months to complete an immunization for Ebola which makes the vaccine all but useless in areas where there is an outbreak. There is no treatment for Ebola other than offering comfort care during the time it takes for the virus to run its course, which can be between two and twenty-one days.
Bacillus Anthracis – Anthrax
Anthrax is caused by the bacteria bacillus anthracis and is a dangerous disease in practically all cases. It affects humans and animals. For many years anthrax was found naturally and killed millions of people. While it is still possible to find the anthrax bacteria, the most common form seen today is created in vitro and used in biological warfare. The United States was attacked with anthrax in 2001 and received worldwide coverage. The spores of the anthrax are either inhaled or enter the body through open cuts. These spores can come from attacks such as warfare or by handling infected animals. Once a person is infected, treatment options are relatively small. The person cannot pass the infection to another person but it usually spreads to other people due to the spores being on clothing hair. Anthrax is more commonly considered a biological warfare tool due to the absence of it occurring naturally as often as it used to.
The rotavirus is a virus that mainly affects children, particularly because of how it is spread. Rotavirus is spread through the ingestion of contaminated feces. While this sounds like something that could be totally avoided, in children it is easy for them to have the germ on their hand after potty training or even sticking their hand in their diaper. Later, they put their hands in their mouth as all children will and the rest is downhill. The rotavirus does not have to cause death but can if the outbreak occurs in areas where there is not proper treatment available. Rotavirus can cause vomiting, severe diarrhea, dehydration, mucus in the stools, dehydrations and high fever.
This virus, which has been eradicated in many countries with the administration of inoculations, continues to claim the life of more than one hundred thousand people every year. That number is small compared to the numbers from years before vaccines were discovered. In 1529 two-thirds of the population of Cuba was wiped out due to measles and it is estimated that in the last 150 years over 200 million people have died from measles. This deadly virus spreads through the respiratory system by direct contact or through droplets in the air. Severe illness can result including pneumonia, encephalitis, and secondary infections. In developed countries the measles virus can be treated; however, in many undeveloped countries an outbreak of measles is certain death.
The rabies virus is a species of the Lyssavirus genus which is passed from animals to humans through their saliva. Dogs are the most common domesticated animal to carry the virus; however, bats, fox, monkeys, raccoons and other animals do carry it and can transmit it through biting. The virus, once contracted, takes several months to incubate. It travels to the brain and nervous system and eventually causes the person to appear to go ‘mad’ before they die. Rabies can be treated if the person goes to the hospital when they are bitten by an animal in order to receive the treatment. Rabies shots for domesticated animals have been one way to prevent the spread of this maddening disease.
Aspergillis is a common bacterial mold that can cause pulmonary and blood infections which can lead to death. It also occurs commonly in cancer patients and patients with other diseases. This bacterial mold is most often found in air conditioning systems where it is then spread through the air ducts. This bacterium is hard to diagnose due to the people who have it generally having illness symptoms due to major diseases like cancer, leukemia, and HIV. Some people with asthma have the illness because of the bacteria. The best way to treat an aspergillis infection is to prevent it; however, this is one bacterium that is hard to avoid because is found practically everywhere.
This pathogenic bacterium, like many of the other deadly bacteria has become resistant to most antibiotics and causes thousands of deaths every year. It has been nicknamed the “Iraqibacter” due to the number of soldiers in Iraq who have contracted it after being wounded in war. The bacteria are able to enter the body through open sores, wounds, catheters and other openings into the body. This bacterium is not new but the prevalence of its outbreaks is increasing in number. The only way to lower the incidence of this bacterial infection is to increase and monitor hand washing.
Escheria coli and Klebsiella
Most commonly referred to simply as E Coli, the escheria coli and klebsiella are two of the most dangerous bacteria that are easily transmitted through foods that have not been washed or undercooked foods. Years ago, E Coli was mainly responsible for severe stomach aches and diarrhea; however, as the two bacteria have become drug resistant the bacteria are causing severe health complications that can lead to death. The klebsiella bacteria can lead to pneumonia and eventual death. This bacteria, although becoming resistant to antibiotics, is also one of the easiest to avoid through the simple practice of washing raw foods, cooking foods to their proper temperature and washing hands.
MRSA or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
MRSA is a type of bacteria that causes a variety of infections that belong to the Staphylococcus family. In simple terms it is a staph infection that has morphed over time making it resistant to the most used antibiotics. Most people who contract MRSA do so in the hospital. This is because people in the hospital have weak immune systems from being sick and or they have open wounds which allow the bacteria to get in their body. It is also a problem in other confined setting such as prisons, daycare centers, nurseries and also in athletes who share locker rooms and gyms. MRSA is highly contagious and can cause severe health problems and even death if not treated in time. Although the bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics it does respond to vancomycin and some other antibiotics.