Scientists May Have Finally Found a Solution to Antibiotic Resistance

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Antibiotic-resistant superbugs may be the gravest threat to human health in the 21st century. After over-prescribing antibiotics for decades, multiple strains of bacteria are now immune to treatment. Millions of people are infected with these superbugs every year in the US, and tens of thousands die. And that’s just the beginning. We may be in the early stages of the post-antibiotic era, and if this trend isn’t reversed, superbugs may be killing more people than cancer does by the year 2050.

As you might expect, the scientific community has been desperately trying to find a solution to this crisis for some time. And fortunately, scientists have made some significant progress in recent years. In 2016 for instance, researchers from the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts discovered Teixobactin, the first antibiotic to be found in nearly 30 years. And with that discovery, they figured out an entirely new avenue of research that could bring about many more antibiotics in the near future.

Of course, that doesn’t really solve the problem with antibiotic resistant superbugs when you think about it. It only serves to kick the can down the road. It’s entirely possible that any new antibiotic that is brought to market, will be thoroughly abused by the medical and agricultural communities. New resistant strains of bacteria will emerge, and we’ll be back to square one.

What we really need is a whole new approach to using antibiotics and treating bacterial infections. Preferably, something that bacteria can’t readily adapt to. Fortunately, a researcher by the name of Dr. Bruce Geller has come up with a new treatment method that might just fit the bill.

“Bacteria will develop resistance to any one antibiotic or antimicrobial given enough time,” says Dr. Bruce Geller, a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University. “Because they’ve had a 4 billion year head start in the evolution of mechanisms to adapt to changing environments, they’re very, very good at getting around any antimicrobial they might encounter.”

So rather than just coming up with a new antibiotic, which bacterial strains would surely become immune to, he’s developed a compound that when exposed to bacteria, eliminates their resistance to antibiotics.

Geller’s megaweapon is a PPMO designed to neutralize resistance mechanisms in bacteria, leaving them vulnerable to antibiotics. “This molecule can restore sensitivity to standard, already-approved antibiotics in bacteria that are now resistant to those antibiotics,” Geller says, which eliminates the need to invest time and money in developing new antibiotics. So how does this PPMO work?

A PPMO is a type of synthetic molecule that mimics DNA and can bind to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of a cell. RNA takes the information stored in the DNA of a cell, translating it into proteins that carry out the various functions of that cell.

Imagine a gene as instructions, written in a letter. Normally, the RNA receives this letter and carries out the instructions, creating the appropriate proteins. The PPMO instead intercepts the letter along the way, replacing it with one that commands the RNA to do nothing. So Geller’s team can create a PPMO that binds to the gene that produces NDM-1 — an enzyme that neutralizes antibiotics — and silences it. Suddenly, the bacterium has no defense mechanism.

Of course, PPMOs aren’t a broad, perfect solution. For instance, Geller points out that a different kind of PPMO would have to be developed for each type of infection. So this method will be mainly used when a doctor knows exactly what is afflicting a patient. Despite that, what Dr. Geller has created is probably the best solution to antibiotic resistance that has been developed so far, and is the best hope we have to stem the tide of the superbugs.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These Are the Diseases That Will Run Rampant When the SHTF

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Most people like to think that if society collapsed, the most common cause of death would be at the hands of other people. They like to imagine that the apocalypse will be filled with action packed shootouts and marauding gangs of looters. Obviously there would be a lot of violence if society collapsed, but the truth of the matter is that violence would be a secondary concern.

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Mother Nature Has Plans of Her Own

This is evident if you only take a quick look throughout history. During the most tumultuous times in human history, it wasn’t violence that killed the most people, but disease and starvation. Even during war, when violence reached its apex, most of the soldiers didn’t die from violence, and that remained the case until the 20th century. During the American Civil War for instance, for every three soldiers who died on the battlefield, five died of disease.

It’s important to remember that if society were to collapse, it would be tantamount to traveling back in time to when modern amenities didn’t exist. And without those amenities, there are a ton of pathogens that can kill you. So before you blow your entire prepping budget on guns and body armor, consider some of the many unglorified ways that the collapse of society could cut you down.

These are the Seven Likely Causes of Death When the SHTF

1. Superbugs

The world was a hell of a scary place before the invention of antibiotic medications. Any nick or scratch could lead to an untreatable infection, and communicable diseases often ran rampant. Nowadays our antibiotics can treat these diseases, but just barely. As various strains of bacteria become immune to these treatments, we’re rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic world that looks an awful lot like the old world. If society collapses then these souped up diseases are going to be unleashed without any inhibitions. Tuberculosis, staph, typhoid, strep throat, MRSA, and E. Coli will become all too common.

2. Water-Related Illness

If society collapses, people are going to suddenly find themselves reliant on local water sources, and unfortunately those water sources are going to be contaminated. It’s often the case that natural ponds and stream are already unsafe to drink, but the same disaster that cuts off your tap is going to make that water even more dangerous.

Without running water, people will be forces to leave their waste in their immediate environment, where it will likely mingle with local water sources. This among other unsanitary conditions can cause a whole host of water-borne diseases including gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, intestinal parasites, Diphtheria, cholera, typhoid, and even polio. Here are 9 common water-borne illnesses to prepare for in a disaster scenario.

3. Mosquitoes and Rats

It takes all the might of modern civilization just to keep certain pests in check. But when the garbage trucks stop showing up and the swimming pools turn green, you can bet that the rats and mosquitoes will proliferate like crazy. And they’ll be carrying diseases that are the stuff of nightmares. Rats will carry the hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and the plague; and in North America, mosquitoes will most likely be carrying dengue fever. Here are some tips to rat-proof your preparedness supply closet.

4. Cold Weather

A lot of people will be forced to go without adequate shelter after the collapse. So when winter arrives, you’re going to see a lot more weather related ailments. We’re all very familiar with flu season, but most people don’t realize that cold weather conditions can spawn numerous diseases, most of them respiratory related. Between the lack of sunlight, people crowding indoors, and the poor circulation caused by cold weather, there will be more cases of strep throat, pneumonia, croup, bronchiolitis, ear infections, and the stomach flu. To prepare for this, understand that hospitals and medical care may not be available (or too dangerous to get to). You may want to consider storing natural remedies, herbal poultices and tinctures to assist in these cold weather ailments.

5. Malnutrition

In a roundabout way, malnutrition would probably be the leading cause of disease after the SHTF. That’s because your diet is tightly linked to the quality of your immune system, so if you’re not getting enough calories, protein, vitamins or minerals, you’re more susceptible to every ailment under the sun. However, malnutrition is most associated with conditions like scurvy, rickets, pellagra, goiters, and beriberi.

6. Cadavers

The collapse of society would destroy every kind abundance that the modern world provides us, and in return, the only thing that would be in abundance are the dead. Dead bodies, especially the kind that were infected with disease to begin with, pose a serious health threat. Without a functioning society, and with bodies piling up faster than they can be buried or cremated, these cadavers would litter our towns and cities, and would most likely pose a serious threat to local water supplies.

7. Disease

Overshadowing many of these medical ailments will be disease. In fact, many believe that disease would be the real killer if the world fell apart and would dwarf the number of casualties caused by violence. Diseases are opportunists and tend to surface at a time the conditions are right for them to flourish. A long-term emergency would be just the right time, wouldn’t you say? These 10 diseases could become common medical emergencies. Make sure you have a well supplied medical closet and a sick room prepared for these issues.

There is a Silver Lining

As bleak as that sounds however, there is a silver lining. Prepping to prevent disease and infection is a lost less intimidating, and a lot more affordable than preparing to face-off against your fellow-man.

In fact, it’s as simple as stocking up on very general supplies that you should be accumulating anyway. Having plenty of food, toiletries, basic medical supplies, and water purification tools, will go a long way toward keeping you safe from the ravages of disease.

Resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Preparedness Guide to Get Through Any Disaster

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

The Prepared Home: 50 Essential Items to Put in Your Ultimate Survival Medical Kit

52 Weeks to Preparedness: An Emergency Preparedness Plan For Surviving Virtually Any Disaster

The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Rise of Superbugs

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The Rise of Superbugs Antibiotics will be important to have stockpiled when SHTF, but to protect your immune system they should be used conservatively, otherwise we become dependent on this medication. This sort of dependence can be dangerous if something happened where we could not get access to medicines. Antibiotics can help eliminate harmful bacteria …

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The spread of superbugs that are resistant to all known drug treatments.

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Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise, and in the future, many infectious diseases will once again be untreatable, forcing more people into poverty and costing nations dearly, a World Bank-led study warned.

Survival Medicine Hour: Depression, Superbugs, Clint Jivoin of Naked and Afraid

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A new superbug has scientists concerned after a Pennsylvania woman develops a urinary tract infection that is resistant to Colistin, an antibiotic of last resort. More and more, antibiotic resistance is becoming a challenge for doctors everywhere, where does that leave you if you were off the grid? Plus, depression is a big problem in good times or bad, and what can you do if you want to avoid drugs to treat it? Dr. Alton, part of Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast Expert Council, answers questions from a listener with the problem. Also, Dr. Alton joins the call to cancel the Olympics with 150 other practitioners who thinks it’s a dumb idea to send half a million tourists to the epicenter of an epidemic zone.

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Clint Jivoin of Naked and Afraid

As a special added treat, our good friend Clint Jivoin of Naked and Afraid joins us at a recent event to talk about his experiences on the show and his plans for the future. All this and more on the Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton…

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2016/05/29/survival-medicine-hour-depression-superbugs-clint-jivoin-of-naked-and-afraid

Here’s wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

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Hey, check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits for survival settings at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did…

Expert Warns It’s “Almost Too Late” to Stop Superbugs

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e coli wikimediaYou’re probably already aware of the dangers posed by the overuse of antibiotics. Doing so can lead to the creation of pathogens that are immune to antibiotics, and often can’t be treated by modern medicine. What you may not know, is that these dangers no longer lie in the relative safety of the future. They are already with us today, and these superbugs are killing thousands every year.

More importantly, the age of pharmaceutical antibiotics is nearing its end. Last month, a gene was discovered in several strains of bacteria in China, which grants these pathogens an immunity to colistin. This drug was one of the earliest forms of antibiotics, and also the only one that had yet to breed immunity in any strain of bacteria.

What’s worse, is that this gene can be passed to different strains of bacteria, so the genie is out of the bottle. Someday soon, colistin will be useless, and we will be well on our way into the post-antibiotic era. However, some experts on the subject believe that there is still a slim chance of avoiding this disaster. According to Dr. David Brown, who is the director of Antibiotic Research UK, society could turn this ship around if we changed our ways.

Dr Brown told said: “It is almost too late. We needed to start research 10 years ago and we still have no global monitoring system in place.

“The issue is people have tried to find new antibiotics but it is totally failing – there has been no new chemical class of drug to treat gram-negative infections for more than 40 years.

“I think we have got a 50-50 chance of salvaging the most important antibiotics but we need to stop agriculture from ruining it again.”

Resistance is thought to have grown due to colistin being heavily used in pockets of the agricultural industries, particularly in China, often to increase the physical size of livestock.

Worldwide, the demand for colistin in agriculture was expected to reach almost 12,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year, rising to 16,500 tonnes by 2021.

Unfortunately, “50-50″ may be wishful thinking. The gene responsible for building immunity against colistin has already been found in the UK. If it’s been found in China and the British Isles, then it’s safe to assume that it has gone worldwide. “50-50″ may still be an accurate assessment, but only on the condition that the agricultural industry of every nation, agrees to stop using colistin with such wanton abandon. However, the chances of that happening anytime soon are slim to nil.

Agricultural use of antibiotics has been one of the biggest drivers of superbug development, perhaps even more so than human usage. Doctors may be handing out these drugs like candy to their patients, but farmers have been giving antibiotics to their livestock by the shovelful. They’re not just used to treat individual animals who’ve become sick. They’re often laced with their feed as a preventative measure, and are known to induce growth in the livestock.

In other words, there is a ton of money to be made by dosing animals with antibiotics, and since agriculture is largely a corporate game these days, there’s going to be a lot of lobbying to prevent any new legal restrictions. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, or that it hasn’t been done before. It’s just that there are plenty of barriers that would prevent these laws from being made.

And in any case, the world has been fully aware of the consequences of overusing antibiotics in agriculture for decades, and yet, very little has been done to stop this practice. Now that we’ve finally reached the crisis point that has been predicted for years, is there any reason to believe that suddenly we’ll drop everything we’re doing and change? I doubt it.

It was short-term thinking that brought us here, and that thinking hasn’t changed. As far as the agricultural industry is concerned, it’s too late. So why not milk it for as long as they can? Besides, anybody who stops now is going to be out-competed by other companies that refuse to stop. It doesn’t matter that there’s a small chance of stopping this disaster. Corporations don’t sacrifice profits for small chances.

And finally, suppose that there was a concerted effort to ban this practice. Is it reasonable to believe that every country will go through with it? If even one small nation doesn’t stop using these antibiotics on their livestock, it will be enough to foster these immunity genes which will spread all over the world, as they have already done.

At the end of the day, there is no going back. There is no turning the ship around, and there is no last-minute solution. The antibiotics created by medical science are going the way of the dodo, and only natural alternatives will remain in the aftermath.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Survival Medicine Hour: Active Shooters, SWAT-T, Superbugs

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Would you know the right plan of action if you were caught in an active shooter situation? Having a plan of action in advance may mean the difference between life and death? Joe Alton, MD gives his take on what to do in a mass casualty incident. Also, Dr. Alton discusses antibiotic-resistant superbug CRE, as well as Dr. Brock Blankenship’s SWAT-T, a tourniquet that might be a good addition to many workplace and schools’ first aid kits.

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To listen in, click below:

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2015/12/06/survival-medicine-hour-active-shooters-swat-t-new-superbug

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or  bad,

 

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP

 

The Post-Antibiotic Era is Finally Upon Us

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pills wikimediaAntibiotics have rightfully earned their place as one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century. Many of you reading this are alive today because of antibiotics, as are many of your parents and grandparents. It’s a marvel of the modern world that has given us so much life.

Unfortunately, we abused this gift. We used these antibiotics so much that now, many of the infections we used to be able to treat have evolved to resist them. These “superbugs” now threaten to derail decades of medical progress.

Someday soon we may be living in what scientists have dubbed, the “post-antibiotic world.” This is a world where the slightest nick or cut could be a death sentence, and where infections that were once conquered can make a devastating comeback. Unfortunately, the beginning stages of this new era have finally arrived.

The last line of antibiotic defence against some serious infections is under threat, say experts who have identified a gene that enables resistance to spread between bacteria in China.

The gene, called mcr-1, allows a range of common bacteria, including E coli, to become resistant to the last fully functional class of antibiotics, the polymyxins. This gene, they say, is widespread in bugs called Enterobacteriaceae carried by both pigs and people in south China and is likely to spread worldwide.

The gene is easily transferred from one strain of bacteria to another. Enterobacteriaceae are capable of causing a range of diseases, from pneumonia to serious blood infections. Some of the strains of Enterobacteriaceae with the gene have epidemic potential, say experts in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

“These are extremely worrying results,” said Prof Jian-Hua Liu from South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, author of the report. “Our results reveal the emergence of the first polymyxin resistance gene that is readily passed between common bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, suggesting that the progression from extensive drug resistance to pandrug resistance is inevitable.”

Keep in mind that the only reason why these “polymyxins” were still effective, is that they are an older class of antibiotics that are rarely used, due to their toxicity. It’s a last resort for people infected with bugs that are resistant to everything else. Once this resistance spreads there will be a whole host of superbugs out there, to which there will be no antibiotic treatment options.

The fact that an outdated treatment is the best our hospitals have to offer, just goes to show that modern science isn’t up to the task of creating new antibiotics. This field of research isn’t like computers, where new advances keep arriving every few years with precise regularity. It seems that antibiotic research, at least as we know it today, has finally reached its peak. And even if science could invent a new antibiotic, what’s to stop future pathogens from becoming immune to it as well?

I suspect it wouldn’t take long, because human behavior isn’t going to change any time soon. In a sense, antibiotics fall under the “tragedy of the commons.” Any unregulated resource that is commonly shared by everyone, will eventually be destroyed. We all need to act in our own self-interest to survive and thrive, but when that instinct is applied to a resource that doesn’t belong to anyone, we quickly abuse that resource. Because human beings don’t want to be sick, and because livestock owners want to produce more food, any new antibiotic that is invented will inevitably be abused until it is worthless for everyone.

So it’s time to accept that the post-antibiotic era is unavoidable. We’ll either have to invent an entirely new method of treatment, or go back to some of the treatments we used in the early 20th century. Perhaps we’ll utilize some mixture of the two. In any case, antibiotics are very close to becoming useless, and until alternative solutions are ironed out the world is going to be quite a bit more dangerous than it was before.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

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cellulitismoderate

The wise medic will store antibiotics to deal with infections in survival scenarios, but what happens when a bacteria becomes resistant to them? In other words, a “Superbug”?

In the U.S., 2 million people are infected annually with bacteria resistant to standard antibiotic treatment. At least 23,000 of these will die as a result. In an increasingly overburdened health system, resistant microbes are responsible for a huge increase in the cost of caring for the sick.

This article will discuss antibiotics and the epidemic of resistance that has spawned a growing number of superbugs.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are medicines that kill micro-organisms in the body. Amazingly, the first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered entirely by accident in 1928 when Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from a vacation. He noticed that a lab dish with a bacterial culture had developed a mold known then as Penicillin Notatum. Around the mold, an area had developed that was clear of bacteria. Further study proved the potent germicidal effect of the compound processed from the mold.

By the 1940s, penicillin was in general use and credited with saving many lives during WWII. Since then, more than 100 different antibiotics have been identified and developed into medicines.

Antibiotic Overuse

The huge success that antibiotics had in eliminating bacterial infections caused them to be used excessively. Liberal employment of antibiotics is a bad idea for several reasons:

  • Overuse fosters the spread of resistant bacteria.
  • Allergic reactions can occur, sometimes severe.
  • Antibiotics given before a diagnosis is confirmed may mask some symptoms and make identifying the illness more difficult.

Antibiotics will kill many bacteria, but they will not be effective against viruses, such as those that cause influenza or the common cold. They are also not meant as anti-fungal agents.

 

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Viruses are largely unaffected by antibiotics

 

Most will be surprised to hear that almost 80% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. don’t go to people, but to livestock. This is not to treat sick livestock but to make healthy livestock grow faster and get to market sooner. No one knows for sure why antibiotics have this effect, but the gross overuse on food animals is a big reason for the epidemic of resistance seen today.

The Superbug List Grows Longer

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a list of close to 20 bacteria that have shown a tendency towards antibiotic resistance. They include various organisms that cause severe diarrheal disease, respiratory issues, wound infections, and even sexually transmitted disease.

The CDC’s list:

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
  • Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter
  • Drug-resistant Campylobacter
  • Fluconazole-resistant Candida
  • Extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs)
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Drug-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella
  • Drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi
  • Drug-resistant Shigella
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
  • Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA)
  • Erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococcus
  • Clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus

 

There have been no effective treatments identified for some of the above microbes, as in the case of multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis. MRSA, Methicillin-Resistant Staph. Aureus, was responsible for more deaths than AIDS in recent years.

 

Although this is the CDC’s list of superbugs that affect the United States, they aren’t the only ones. A new type of Malaria, a very common parasitic disease of warmer climates, is turning up that is resistant to the standard drugs.

 

Viruses are “resistant” to antibiotics by nature (in other words, they are unaffected by them) and include Influenza A, Swine Flu, Ebola, Bird Flu, SARS, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These will be discussed in detail in a future article.

 

An Effective Strategy

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Strategy #1

 

Many believe that antibiotic-resistant Superbugs listed are exotic diseases that could never affect their community. With the ease of commercial air travel, however, cases of antibiotic-resistant diseases from afar can easily arrive on our shores.

 

Recently, a case of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis was identified and then isolated at the high level isolation unit at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. Although we have increased our capacity for handling this type of patient significantly since the arrival of Ebola in the U.S. last year, it wouldn’t take much to overwhelm our facilities.

 

 

Therefore, the medic must have a plan to decrease the chances for antibiotic-resistant infections. The main strategy is to hold off on dispensing that precious supply of antibiotics until absolutely necessary, but other strategies include:

 

  • Establishing good hygiene practices: Everyone should be diligent about washing hands with soap and hot water or hand sanitizers. Good respiratory hygiene includes coughing or sneezing into tissues or the upper arm, but never the bare hands.
  • Supervising sterilization of water, preparation of food, and disposal of human waste and trash. Contaminated water and food will lead to many avoidable deaths in survival scenarios. Make sure that food preparation surfaces (counter tops, etc.) are disinfected frequently.
  • Dedicating personal items: Personal items like towels, linens, utensils, and clothing may be best kept to one person in an epidemic setting.
  • Cleaning all wounds thoroughly and covering with a dressing. Skin is the body’s armor, and any chink in it will expose a person to infection.
  • Social distancing: When a community outbreak has occurred, limiting contact with those outside the family or survival group may be necessary to stay healthy.
  • Keeping a strong immune system: Getting enough rest, eating healthily, and avoiding stress will improve a person’s defenses against disease. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to achieve these goals in times of trouble.
  • Going natural: Allicin, a compound present in garlic, is a natural antibiotic that is thought to have an effect against some resistant bacteria like MRSA. Crush a clove and eat it.

 

 

Preventing the spread of infections, especially antibiotic-resistant ones, is important to maintain the viability of a survival community. If you’re the medic, have antibiotics in your storage but use them wisely. If you do, you’ll help prevent not only resistance, but a lot of heartache if things go South.

 

Joe Alton, MD

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