While physicians are aware drug-resistant bugs are claiming lives all across the globe, a particular case issued a wake-up call for the U.S. doctors in September 2016. Health experts always feared the day will come when they will be powerless against some bugs that set the stage for untreatable diseases.
According to a professor of infectious diseases medicine from the University of Minnesota, Dr. James Johnson, that day is already upon us. Moreover, he believes the situation is going to get even worse. Even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not require hospitals to report deaths attributed to drug-resistant infections, there have already been 175 cases reported in January 2017 alone. Worldwide, health officials estimate approximately 700,000 people died from some kind of infection that couldn’t be contained with the help of modern medication.
A 70-year-old Nevada woman traveled to India roughly two years ago. Unfortunately, she broke her thigh bone while visiting the country, which turned out to be a death sentence for her. For the next two years, she was moved from one hospital to another, doctors battling relentlessly with the infection that seemed to not go away. In spite of administering all 26 forms of antibiotics available in the United States, the infection was nowhere near cured.
Unfortunately, she passed away last September from sepsis and multiple organ failure. Her death was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the January 13th issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
According to medical professionals, the woman succumbed to drug-resistant infection caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae. As of now, there is no known treatment for the infection. The superbug, as health experts call it, is so vicious not even last-resort measures were sufficient to save the patient’s life.
Not even carbapenems, a class of antibiotics that were thought to be extremely effective for drug-resistant bugs, had any effect on the woman’s condition. Now that their last defense is shattered, doctors across the country are planning to take appropriate measures to prevent incidents like the Reno case from occurring again in the future. One measure, as Dr. Lei Chen with the Washoe County Health District in Reno proposed, would be to focus more on the patients’ traveling history.
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