The exponential growth of drug resistant bacteria. . .
The title’s a catcher, isn’t it! Well let’s be honest – using soap isn’t going to kill you and can you ever be too clean? Nursing practitioners in a health care setting know they have to wash their hands with soap and anti-bacterial often; usually after contact with each and every patient –the danger of spreading germs in hospital settings isn’t just the fodder for science fiction novels and movies after all.
But the last thirty years has seen a rise in the food industry in our animals that are raised to be slaughtered – ingesting large batches of anti-bacterial. Today, so many cattle, poultry and pigs are packed together, they can easily sicken from the build-up of feces and other germs that surround slaughter houses. Anti-bacterial in animal feed means no dead beasts and more burgers to sell. Yet studies are showing that these anti-bacterials in our food combined with a more sedentary lifestyle (more American children are sacrificing recess and time outdoors for better grades so schools can keep their funding.
Children who don’t play outside don’t acquire immunities that were more common ten and twenty years ago), and the addition of anti-bacterials in our own soaps and hand washes means that newer hybrid bacteria can literally be drug resistant.
The time has not yet come, but might – when a super drug is going to be resistant to medications we have on hand and the human race could be looking globally at just being one flux away from a violent virile epidemic. Right now science is working on ways to use a multi-form of drugs to combat illnesses and to keep a larger tragedy at bay. It’s incumbent on nurses to be aware of the dangers that potentially exist – and hey – let your kids go outdoors and play; sometimes it’s the not clean fun that’s also good for you!
For more information check our Essentials of Antibacterial Therapy course!