As per experts, “superbugs are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that are resistant to most of the antibiotics and other medications commonly used to treat the infections they cause. A few examples of superbugs include resistant bacteria that can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections and skin infections.”
And they also say, “drug resistance (antimicrobial resistance) is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be slowed, but not stopped. Over time, germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi adapt to the drugs that are designed to kill them and change to ensure their survival. This makes previously standard treatments for some infections less effective, and sometimes ineffective. Researchers continue to evaluate how these germs develop resistance. They also study how to diagnose, treat and prevent antimicrobial resistance.”
According to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) USA, superbugs are proliferating at a deadly rate, killing at least 35,000 people and cause more than 2.8 million infections each year in the U.S. alone and much more in other parts of the world. CDC researchers have also discovered new superbugs. One superbug found in hospitals and nursing homes is called CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterbacteriaceae) and is connected to E. coli.
However, there are natural precautions which can be taken to protect ourselves from these superbugs. The following methods may be adopted to keep the bugs at bay:
• Proper hand washing: Washing hands with plain soap and water for 20 seconds will lower your risk of being infected by superbugs. Ensure every part of your hand including area between fingers is rubbed with soap and washed properly with water. Getting a flu shot will also help.
• Eat balanced diet: Food plays an important role in maintaining your health. Avoid junk food as it weakens our immune system. Eat a balanced diet which is rich in vitamins and minerals and which helps your immune system grow. Research shows a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and nutrients A, C, D, B12, and zinc all play a role in bolstering immune function to protect against superbugs.
• Drink tea: Sip few cups of the brew daily for the most health benefits.
Scientists at the University of Surrey say an antioxidant in green tea can help get rid of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Their study, published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, found that epigallocatechin (EGCG) can restore the action of aztreonam, an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
• Adequate sleep and rest: During any pandemic outbreak, stress and anxiety levels increase which can affect our health system. This stress can produce stress hormones which can make us more susceptible to infections and other chronic and life-threatening diseases. Thus it is important to de-stress ourselves. Around 7-8 hrs of sleep helps us in de-stressing which is important during any pandemic outbreak.
Meditation and deep breathing also helps stimulate the anti-inflammatory pathways, which helps the immune cells to work more effectively.
The most important thing is sticking to basic and natural principles of taking good care of ourselves. Good nutrition, adequate sleep and exercise are the best tools we have next to hand washing and keeping our distance from those who are already ill.