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seeder

The Rise of the Superbugs

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I think it's highly probable that humanity would combat a super bug. For one we have an extremely high population, and that high population is vastly spread out, with self sustaining humans living on every continent. Our medical skills are developing at exponential rates, and we've been known to resort to dire means to fend illnesses. It should also be noted that regions ravaged by the bubonic plague were not totally wiped of human life. Some people were immune to it, meaning it's likely that some humans would be immune to other powerful strains.

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I suppose one day we will each live in our own cubicle isolated from everyone else and communicating entirely by internet lest we catch a germ.

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Sheesh there are so many ways we could either be done in or do ourselves in it's a wonder we persist.

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hrmm... asimovs caves of steel come to mind..

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I think it's highly probable that humanity would combat a super bug. For one we have an extremely high population, and that high population is vastly spread out, with self sustaining humans living on every continent. Our medical skills are developing at exponential rates, and we've been known to resort to dire means to fend illnesses. It should also be noted that regions ravaged by the bubonic plague were not totally wiped of human life. Some people were immune to it, meaning it's likely that some humans would be immune to other powerful strains.

I agree that a superbug is unlikely to wipe out all humanity. But your comparison with bubonic plague is interesting. That wiped out the majority of the population in the affected areas. And that is the scenario we are going back to. If you find that reassuring.... ok

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If say my daughter is pregnant, and she is attacked by the superbugs.. admittedly she has a decent chance perhaps of fighting it off, but she could actually (dont think it htough,) die.. but what if she is pregnant and gives birth..

i wonder, genetically, how strong will the immunity of these children be.

I think there is not one answer to that because there is not one particular superbug. All strains of bacteria can develop all-round antibiotic immunity, and thus turn into superbugs.

The ones that I have read reports about until now are flesh-eating bacteria (really gruesome stuff.... the only way to deal with such infections is amputation) and super-gonorrhea (not lethal, but certainly horrible).

There are probably more out there; maybe some medical expert can update us.

Edited by Zaphod222

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If you find that reassuring.... ok

I don't.

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Ok heres some news,

"The flu epidemic has invaded 48 states, overwhelming medical facilities, exhausting vaccine supplies and killing 29 children and thousands of seniors. Both the problem and solution to this disaster hinge on how we relate to animals raised for food".

But the article is biased towards vegan-ism

http://mtstandard.com/news/opinion/mailbag/vegan-diet-could-help-protect-against-recent-flu-epidemic/article_d1a3b482-6767-11e2-b796-0019bb2963f4.html

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I agree that a superbug is unlikely to wipe out all humanity. But your comparison with bubonic plague is interesting. That wiped out the majority of the population in the affected areas. And that is the scenario we are going back to. If you find that reassuring.... ok

Of course I find it reassuring. It means that humanity will continue to forge on and prosper. We're nothing but a small step in the advancement of the human race.

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Nature will find a way to balance itself out and get the number of humans down to save herself.

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I think there is not one answer to that because there is not one particular superbug. All strains of bacteria can develop all-round antibiotic immunity, and thus turn into superbugs.

The ones that I have read reports about until now are flesh-eating bacteria (really gruesome stuff.... the only way to deal with such infections is amputation) and super-gonorrhea (not lethal, but certainly horrible).

There are probably more out there; maybe some medical expert can update us.

Not a medical expert by any means... may be one day. Well a medicines expert.

MRSA seems well on its way. The name originally meant 'Methicillin resistance Staphylococcus Aureus' but I believe that MRSA has many strains which have resistance to beta lactam antibiotics, which means the penicillins (lots of those!) and cephalosporins. Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is also a serious concern.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/mrsa.shtml

Scientists are haunted by the spectre of a bug resistant to all antibiotics, and there are some contenders brewing. For example, VRSA, or vancomycin-resistant S.aureus, has acquired resistance to a drug considered the last line of defence when all other antibiotics have failed.

This should aso address an earlier poster who said they don't believe any of it...

http://textbookofbacteriology.net/resantimicrobial.html

Nowadays, about 70 percent of the bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly used for treatment.
An alarming increase in resistance of bacteria that cause community acquired infections has also been documented, especially in the staphylococci and pneumococci (Streptococcus pneumoniae), which are prevalent causes of disease and mortality. In a recent study, 25% of bacterial pneumonia cases were shown to be resistant to penicillin, and an additional 25% of cases were resistant to more than one antibiotic.

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/medicine_03

more than 24 percent of gonorrheal bacteria in the U.S. are resistant to at least one antibiotic, and 98 percent of gonorrheal bacteria in Southeast Asia are resistant to penicillin

I'm scared.

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Pandemics and malevolent superbugs are inevitable and evermore likely to invade our lives simply because there are too many of us living and traveling in close proximity. Add to that natural catastrophes and we have the making of the "perfect storm." It is probably obvious, but if we are to survive as a civilization, we must establish a foothold beyond this planet. But, given our immense needs to sustain the given population in light of global climate change and subsequent disaster have we lost the economic window of opportunity to develop planetary settlements? Perhaps we should simply learn to cherish each moment and live it to the fullest.

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economic window of opportunity to develop planetary settlements?

I question why this even an economic issue and not a humanity issue. I mean like doing for the good of humanity rather then money. But hey thats me.

And to stay on topic: Super Bugs are here to stay thats a fact. Can we fight them. No. Will we ever be able to ? Not sure its economically viable.

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we must establish a foothold beyond this planet. But, given our immense needs to sustain the given population in light of global climate change and subsequent disaster have we lost the economic window of opportunity to develop planetary settlements? Perhaps we should simply learn to cherish each moment and live it to the fullest.

We wont be settling any planets any time soon. If ever at all. Even if they sent man to Mars for example, and even if they somehow managed to build a self sustaining base there.. no more than 2 or 3 would make the journey and be able to take enough supplies at the same time.

besides even if it were possible to find a planet that could sustain life and you didn't die of old age traveling there, only the super rich/elite would go. Thats just the way it is.

Mans history is full of plagues/diseases/pandemics. And is also full of man overcoming them, eventually.

Edited by seeder

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This appears to be a real danger; what can I do?

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Watch out for emerging epidemics and wear a rubber unless you know her real well. Dont take antibiotics unless you REALLY need them. Wash your hands often during cold and flu season. And avoid heavy strength "sterilizing" cleaners.

Part of what helps bad bacteria proliferate is the destruction of good bacteria.

And the best advice is stay out of the hospitable. The most dangerous place to catch a superbug is in the hospital.

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Pandemics and malevolent superbugs are inevitable and evermore likely to invade our lives simply because there are too many of us living and traveling in close proximity. Add to that natural catastrophes and we have the making of the "perfect storm." It is probably obvious, but if we are to survive as a civilization, we must establish a foothold beyond this planet. But, given our immense needs to sustain the given population in light of global climate change and subsequent disaster have we lost the economic window of opportunity to develop planetary settlements? Perhaps we should simply learn to cherish each moment and live it to the fullest.

I really don't believe 'proper' planetary settlements will be a reality for a very, very long time. Yes we might eventually get a few people living on Mars, or whatever, but large portions of the population of Earth actually leaving for another planet? No.

I think people need to turn their focus back to trying to stop all these 'disasters' occuring, instead of the wishful thinking of disappearing off to other planets and solving all our problems that way.

~

Frank, what AsteroidX said. I would add, if you do get antibiotics, they are most effective if you take them exactly as instructed. And the best thing you can do is make sure you take every last pill, follow the course of treatment right through to the end.

Wash your hands often during flu season, but with good old fashioned soap and water, not 'anti-bacterial' hand sanitiser.

And don't disinfect everything in your life with the "kills 99.9% of bacteria" crowd of cleaning products. That .1% is the evil bugger.

Edited by Queen in the North
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I think people need to turn their focus back to trying to stop all these 'disasters' occuring, instead of the wishful thinking of disappearing off to other planets and solving all our problems that way.

I would hope Humanity capable of focusing on more then one good forward thinking idea at a time. Part of the problems of colonization could be being advanced much faster then they are. As it is currently being forced to be cost prohibitive. But your spot on your comment IMO. We do need to do that as well.

And yes Superbugs are still here to stay. :td:

Edited by AsteroidX

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I haven't used an antibiotic in ages, and since my wife died I've been celibate, so these two should be ok.

I do use alcohol on my hands after I get a manicure and if I get a scratch or something, but not those commercial things.

If I need to go to the hospital, damn it, I'm going.

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If I need to go to the hospital, damn it, I'm going.

Definitely don't deny yourself professional medical care if you need it, though if possible try to avoid lengthy stays on wards.

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It sounds like we need to use good sense.

I can just imagine what sorts of things the government here would do were some deadly pandemic to start somewhere, considering what happened here during the chicken flu scare. (Among other things the daily morning chorus of c***-crowing of people keeping cocks for the fighting that sadly goes on here came to a roaring halt as the police rounded them all up.)

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The good sense is the prevention part.

Not understanding how bad the chicken flu was there I cant really say if that was an appropriate response but chickens being a renewable resource...If the diesease was dangerous enough is fully appropriate.

Mad Cow disease is another example where we slaughter animals because of the risk to humans is greater then the need of a few food cows. By the way free ranged animals have much less of these problems and those not fed antibiotics in there food.

Bird flu is the big unknown right now, or avian flu. As birds are everywhere. And it keeps popping up in small clusters.

Edited by AsteroidX

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We actually need a superbug.

The Earth's population is sky rocketing and we won't be able to cope much longer.

Thinking about this... While I don't wish an incurable bacterial infection on anyone, it could be seen as Nature sorting out the problems of overpopulation. The people who will - and do, now - fall to these superbugs are the people who are already sick, in beds on hospital wards. The healthier part of population will find it easier to avoid... except in childbirth. We will go back to a world where everywhere mother and child die in childbirth frequently, and I think that is how the superbugs could 'sort out' the population problems.

I suppose the prevention we were talking about earlier in this case is to not have children - when considering the population issue, I guess the people actually wanting some kind of natural way of getting the population down would say that's win-win?

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The human race is dealing with its own population problem just fine and we don't need a plague.

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