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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Five People Sick From Drinking Raw Milk

In Chambersburg, Pennsylvania the Family Cow Dairies raw milk was infected with Campylobacter. After testing the milk the state agriculture officials found  Campylobacter, They ask Family Cow Dairy to stop selling milk until further notice. Five People have been reported sick from the milk so far.

This is not the first time that Family Cow Dairy has had infected milk. They had Campylobacter infected milk  in January and February of 2012. This outbreak sickened 80 people and put 12 people in the hospital.
An investigation after this outbreak revealed that the water for washing the milking equipment was 110F instead of 160F. This and a broken bottle capper were the only defects that were found.

One effect of campylobacteriosis is tissue injury in the gut. Campylobacter causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. The  diarrhea consist of as many as 10 watery, frequently bloody, bowel movements per day and fever as high as 104°F. In most people, the illness lasts for 2–10 days
In Pennsylvania raw milk must be tested twice a month to check for bacterial contamination. Since this is happening a second time this is obviously not enough. Between 2007 and 2011 there were 15 raw milk- related disease outbreaks in Pennsylvania. 233 people were reported sickened in these outbreaks. There are usually many more people ill than those reported to the health department.

The amount of illness in states where raw milk is legal is much higher.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Super Bug CRKP Kills 35% of the People Infected

Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae known as CRKP is resistant to all antibiotics but one, colistin. Unfortunately colistin can damage the kidneys. Because CRKP has two membranes it is difficult to kill even with colistin.  

.  Klebsiella has been a harmless bacteria that lives in our intestine. Because of the overuse of antibiotics it has developed into CRKP that is antibiotic resistant. Bacteria can pass their DNA to other bacteria that they are touching. CRKP has already past its resistance to one species of E Coli This is one of the reason that drug resistance is spreading so quickly. So far there is only one totally drug resistant bacteria but more are expected in the near future.

The main way CRKP is spread is by people touching each other. In one hospital that was having a CRKP epidemic they found out that the health care workers only washed their hands between patients 48% of the time. There is a new product on the market that requires health care workers to wear a badge that has GPS tracking If a healthcare worker goes to a patient without stopping by the sink the badge  busses to remind the health care worker to wash their hands. It is time all hospitals get this system. CRKP can also be spread to the lungs via a ventilator, through an IV catheter or through urinary tract catheter. It can also be spread by sharing clothing, razors or sporting equipment. . .

CRKP can cause a variety of illnesses, most commonly pneumonia, It also causes inflammation of the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord, urinary tract infections, wound infections and blood infections, It can also cause infected surgical site infections.

To continue to ignore the fact that phage therapy can treat any bacterial disease is a travesty We need to encourage the FDA to change their attitude about phage therapy. .  .

Monday, May 27, 2013

You Can Catch MRSA from Going Swimming in Florida

Some Florida beaches and some beaches along the west coast of the United States are infected with MRSA. Around Ft.Lauderdale, where I live, they regularly check the water for the bacterial infection. If they find harmful bacteria, they will close the beach. The ocean is not the only place you can catch MRSA. Football Players have a higher rate of MRSA infections.than the general public.They can get infected from grass burns from the artificial turf. People who spend a lot of time in crowded gyms can get infected. Other places where people can get infected are Child Care centers, nursing homes, military barracks, prisons, and hospitals,

The people most likely to get MRSA are those with weakened immune systems. Such as people with cancer, AIDS, bad cases of asthma or diabetes  Also people who are having  invasive surgery such as hip or knee replacement are at risk of having MRSA infections. People who work with animals such as Veterinarians are also in danger.

MRSA is resistant to most antibiotics. Many people have MRSA infestations in their noses. Most of these people show no symptoms sometimes for many years. Their immune systems keep the MRSA under control, but if there immune system gets weakened because of another disease the MRSA can spread to their lungs and cause bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia is hard to treat. If a doctor treats the pneumonia with the wrong antibiotic, one that doesn't affect MRSA, the doctor has a very short time to find an antibiotic that will work.before the patient dies.

The other way MRSA  infects the body is through a scratch or a cut in the skin. If it is caught quickly it can be treated with surgery. The surgeon cuts out the infection Many times that is all the treatment necessary. But if the MRSA gets into the bloodstream it can infect internal organs, joints and bones.

MRSA  kills more Americans than AIDS and costs more than $20 billion to treat. Globally  about 53 million people are infected with MRSA each Year. Several Pharmaceutical companies are working on a vaccine for MRSA. It is difficult to develop.  So far two companies have failed in late stages of trials. Any possible vaccine is at least 10 to 15 years out.  

In the Republic of Georgia they have been able to treat MRSA with Phage Therapy. In one of their trials they had a 95%.success rate. Sense phage is unaffected by drug resistance it is more effective than antibiotics in treating MRSA. Hopefully it will be made legal in the United States soon.    

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Superbug CRE Almost Untreatable

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, known as CRE  is on the rise in US hospitals and nursing homes.  According To the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far only 4% of the U.S. acute care facilities had cases of CRE last year. This number is expected to increase.Sense it is resistant to most antibiotics it is nearly untreatable.
According to the CDC “Healthy people usually do not get CRE infections. In healthcare settings, CRE infections most commonly occur among patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions. Patients whose care requires devices like ventilators (breathing machines), urinary (bladder) catheters, or intravenous (vein) catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections.” Many times these people have weakened immune systems.
Some CRE bacteria have become resistant to most available antibiotics. Once these CRE bacteria get into the bloodstream they can contribute to death in  50% of patients. This is a higher rate of death than MRSA Doctors are stuck treating the CRE bacteria with the antibiotic colistin which has a toxic effect on the kidneys and can damage nerves.
The CDC reported  CRE was first detected in a North Carolina hospital in 2001. Since that time, it has been identified in health care facilities in 41 other states. There was a 30% infection rate in long-term care facilities (e.g. nursing homes), though not all patients are symptomatic. During just the first half of 2012, almost 200 hospitals and long-term acute care facilities treated at least ]The increases in CRE prevalence have not been limited to the US. CRE bacteria is also on the rise in Thailand and Australia
A study conducted in the Melbourne, Australia ICU demonstrated that hand washing stations were locations CRE resistant bacteria were found . The researchers discovered.  that improper cleaning methods spread  the bacteria from sink to sink. Other sources of transmission were
failure to adequately clean and disinfect medication cabinets, other surfaces in patient rooportable medical equipment, such as X-ray and ultrasound machines that are used for both CRE and non-CRE patients.
In a recent study in Australia, researchers found  CRE resistant bacteria in ICU sinks and drains. Despite multiple attempts to sterilize these sinks and drains, using detergents and steam, hospital staff were unsuccessful in getting rid of the CRE  bacteria. Due to the bacteria's resistance to cleaning measures, staff should take extreme precaution in maintaining sterile environments in hospitals not yet infected with the CRE-resistant bacteria.Copper sinks were found to stop the spread of CRE bacteria.
The CDC has urged hospitals, health care providers and patients to take steps to curb the
spread of the dangerous superbug that include frequent hand-washing. The agency also
recommends removing intravenous lines and catheters as early as possible to reduce the risk of

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Robot Cleans Hospital Rooms

As a child my daughter acquired two infections when she had an operation on her leg. A three day stay turned into a month long ordeal. Now days this would be called a HAI, Hospital-Acquired infection. Today this is a major problem. The CDC estimates that  1.7 million people will get HAIs and 99,000 people die each year.

One day while I was sitting in the hospital Hospital with my daughter I moved the chair. Underneath the chair was dust that looked like it had been there a year. Obviously cleanliness was a problem. In Hospitals the cleaning staff is not necessarily given enough time to clean the rooms thoroughly. Research shows that more than half of the surfaces remain untouched.after cleaning.

  There are many micro organism that are HAIs the most dangerous are  Clostridium difficile (C. diff), MRSA, Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Acinetobacter baumannii. Some superbugs such as C. diff are showing resistance to disinfectants, making them even harder to eliminate. Others, like CRE, have developed a resistance to antibiotics, making them nearly impossible to treat. CRE is expected to become more dangerous than MRSA.

Xenex Healthcare Services LLC has developed a robot that disinfect hospital rooms by using Ultraviolet light. When the ultraviolet light hits a bacteria and viruses it breaks their  DNA into pieces. Ultraviolet rays do the same in humans causing skin cancer.The Robot takes 5 to 10 minutes to clean a room.It can clean any room in the hospital. It has been shown to be 20 times more effective than chemical cleaning. In one hospital they reduced C. diff infections by 53%.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FDA Sued over Arsenic in Chicken

Last week the FDA was sued  by the Center for Food Safety and eight other government agencies.for  ignoring a 3 year old petition to not allow arsenic in chicken feed. Nitarsone can be added to chicken feed and it contains an inorganic form of arsenic. Because it was inorganic it was originally thought  to be less harmful. It was later found that the arsenic was converted to an organic form inside the chicken.

Arsenic can reduce our ability to fight off some types of influenzas such as N1H1 and Swine Flu This can increase the chances serious disease or death. Long term exposure to Arsenic increases the risk of getting cancers of the bladder, kidney, liver, prostate, skin, lungs .

In some  places they use chicken manure to fertilize for rice. This is thought to be the reason that American rice contains a lot of arsenic.

So what can we do to protect our health. We can buy organic chicken. We can thoroughly rinse rice before cooking. We can cook rice like pasta and throw out the extra water.

My favorite rice is Jasmine Rice. It has one eighth the arsenic and to my taste buds it tastes better.  

Please Don't Amputate Your Foot

People from all over the world that are facing amputation go to the Republic of Georgia to get treatment. In Georgia they use Bacteriophage, phage for short, to treat bacterial infection that are resistant to antibiotics. In tests they have proved to be 80 to 90% effective.
Phage are viruses that kill bacteria.The Phage will insert their DNA into a bacteria. Then they will use the bacteria to reproduce themselves over and over again. When the bacteria becomes stuffed with phage it will burst open, killing the bacteria and spilling out 50 or more Phage. These Phage will attack and kill more bacteria.

Each Phage will only attack one type of bacteria. Antibiotics kill several types of bacteria, the good bacteria that help us digest food along with the bad that cause infections.

In treating infections several types of Phage are use together in what is called a cocktail. By using a Cocktail they can still kill the bacteria even if it develops resistance to one of the phage. Phases are designed for an individual because many times there are more than one type of bacteria in an infections. Cocktails can contain as many as 100 phases .

Besides Amputations there are many other conditions that are caused by drug resistant bacteria. In fact over 100,000 people die each year from drug resistant bacteria. These conditions can also be treated by Phage.

In 1921 Felix dHerelle was the first to use Phage Therapy. He treated dysentery. During the early years there were mixed results with Phage Therapy. As the science improved so did the results.By the 1940’s Phage Therapy was used in the US. With the discovery of antibiotics the US stopped using Phage. Germany and the USSR used Phage Therapy during WWII to treat

their soldiers. After the war the USSR continued to use Phage Therapy and did a lot of research on Phage.. Because of the cold war the research findings did not reach the US. Some of the research is still not available because it is not translated into English.

Because of our current laws and regulations Phage can not be used for medicine in the United States. Phage Therapy can not be patented because it is a living organism. Drug companies will not spend money on Phage because without exclusive rights they can’t make a profit.

Current drug laws would require the Phage Cocktails to go through the approval processes even if all the individual  Phages have been approved. In different parts of the country
there can be different bacteria prevalent. This would cause a need to get a tremendous number of cocktails to get approved. It costs eight hundred million to get an antibiotic to market. To get all of the cocktails approved would probably cost close to the national debt.

Phage Therapy has been safely used for 90 years.  The FDA needs a different standard for testing Bacteriophage than for medicines that have been formulated by man. A drug without a record of safety.

To bring Phage Therapy to market in the US we need to develop more public awareness. We need to bring pressure to bear on the Congress and the FDA to change regulations. As long as it costs as much as it does under the present regulations nothing will ever get done and people will continue to die .

If you would like to help bring about change so that we can use Phage Therapy please leave me a note on the blog and I will get back to you.

To find out more about peoples personal experiences with Phage therapy check out this link

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Shame on Consumer Reports

               Shame on Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports had an article on bacterial contamination in ground turkey products. Some of the things they stated were misleading.

In the report they tested for bacteria that was resistant to antibiotics. Specifically, they tested four antibiotics: ciprofloxacin, penicillin, cephalosporin, and tetracycline. Ciprofloxacin resistance was a bad choice to study in that ciprofloxacin has not been used in turkeys for the last 8 years. They tested for drug resistance to penicillin and cephalosporin which are also not used very much in turkeys. After being over-used for seventy years, you could find bacteria resistant to penicillin in bacteria whether they are in turkey or elsewhere.

Even though they may have made bad decisions on what to test for, they did point out one positive thing turkey farmers have accomplished. There was no Campylobacter bacteria on the turkeys that were tested.
Campylobacter causes more illness than any other bacteria that is on our food. It is a major accomplishment of the turkey producers to rid Campylobacter from the turkeys. They have also reduced the amount of Salmonella on the turkeys.

The odds are that they could get the same results testing any other type of ground meat. Consumers should take precautions when handling meat. Turkey and others meats should be cooked to the proper temperature to kill all bacteria. For turkey, that is 165 degrees. Turkey and other meats should not be washed. Washing will cause water to splatter and spread bacteria around your kitchen. You also need to wash your hands after handling any meat.

Even though I feel that Consumer Reports did a bad job in deciding which drugs to test for resistant bacteria, I think the turkey producers are making one big mistake. They are using antibiotics in the turkey feed instead of just giving antibiotics to sick birds. This causes bacterial resistance.

Eighty percent of the antibiotics used each year in America are used in animal feed. Farmers are quick to point out that sixty-seven percent are types of antibiotics that are not used in humans. Using this sixty-seven percent in their animal feed  just means that there will be no antibiotics for people as well animals. On March 8 of last year, the World Health Organization said that antibiotics would be useless in the future. We already have some bacteria that is totally drug-resistant.

It is time we started using other treatments for bacterial infections. The good news is that Australia has started to use Bacteriophage to treat bacterial diseases. That is the fourth country where Bacteriophage is legal.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why People Catch MRSA in the Hospital

Why People Catch MRSA in the Hospital

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a potentially deadly infectious bacteria, lives in many of our noses and we don’t even know it. As long as we have a healthy immune systems, they can live in our noses and on our skin undetected for years. Because of drug resistance MRSA is very hard to treat. Thirty seven thousand people died in the United States last year in the United States  from MRSA.

When someone gets a cut or skin abrasion, MRSA. This can start out as small red bumps and progress into what looks like a spider bite, possibly accompanied by fever or rash. But it quickly it becomes a pus-filled boil that needs to be surgically cleaned out. In a healthy individual that is sometimes all the treatment necessary. MRSA can also spread from the nose down into the respiratory tract and people can get a MRSA urinary tract infection.
No one knows why some people are more resistant to MRSA infections than others. MRSA is not an especially virulent form of Staphylococcus, but it is very difficult to treat because it is resistant to antibiotics. Once it gets into the tissue, it can spread to organs and cause  necrotizing (flesh-eating) and pneumonia.  It can also cause toxic shock syndrome because the bacteria carries a poison.

In some hospitals in the United States, they have started swabbing the noses of employees and visitors to identify MRSA carriers. Thirty percent or more of these people have MRSA in their nose. Eighty-three percent of the people who get a MRSA Infection get the same strain of MRSA that is in their nose. So it is to their advantage to get it treated as well as benefiting the hospital’s patients. Checking patients for MRSA before operations and using bacteriophage nasal spray could reduce the number of MRSA infections.

Privacy curtains in hospital rooms can also be contaminated with MRSA. Some hospitals have started washing the privacy curtains between patients. Another major cause of MRSA infection is people not washing their hands.

However, swabbing of noses, washing privacy curtains, and other MRSA-prevention practices are voluntary policies set by the hospitals themselves, and not employed by all hospitals. I feel that hospitals should be required to report how many people caught MRSA in their hospital, as well as implement and notify consumers of their MRSA-prevention practices. At the very least people should ask about the sanitary policies at a hospital before going for an operation.