Rise of the Superbugs

Rise of the Superbugs

2012, Health  -   86 Comments
Ratings: 7.36/10 from 76 users.

The human race has always been at war with bacteria, but the development of antibiotics in the 1930s and '40s gave us the upper hand over the bugs that were killing us. Suddenly we were superhuman. Prior to that, bacterial meningitis had 100% mortality, pneumonia 30% mortality and appendicitis 100% mortality, unless you had surgery.

Antibiotics allowed us to do things that no one could've dreamed of doing historically. They've allowed us to transplant organs, to undergo chemotherapy, to receive therapy in intensive K-units when we are critically ill. Without antibiotics none of those advances in human medicine would be possible.

We've still got the upper edge, clearly antibiotics still work, but it's the speed of change that concerns scientists. 20 years ago this wasn't an issue, but today it is. Infectious diseases kill more people than cancer. TB kills 5000 people a day, so if we don't start to act soon, within another 20 years we could be in serious trouble.

We've deployed our antibiotic defenses far and wide while the bacteria have kept up their counter attack. They've adapted and evolved. Now even our last and precious antibiotics are surrendering to the rise of the superbugs.

Now we know that people who return from overseas, after routine surgical procedures are getting superbugs in their bloodstream. With one billion people now travelling the world each year, bacteria are more mobile than ever before and so are superbugs. They're born when we abuse antibiotics and we're doing that across the globe. Every time we take an antibiotic we're giving the bug a chance to become a superbug. If more of us take antibiotics inappropriately the chances are greater that the superbug will come.

Australia is 7th in the world for overuse of antibiotics per capita. Australia is like many of other developed countries. They saw development and wealth equaling ability to use antibiotics, and they lost the plot in terms of realizing that many bacteria will not respond to antibiotics.

It's the Indian subcontinent which is proving to be a superbug's perfect petri dish. Antibiotic abuse is rampant there and there's no antibiotic policy. India mass produces antibiotics, sells them cheaply and the drugs are available over the counter without prescription. Waterways and even the soil are contaminated by waste from antibiotic manufacture. On top of poor sanitation and chronic overcrowding, it's fertile ground for antibiotic resistance.

There is a general principle in treatment of infections. The more we use any antibiotic the quicker the bacteria are going to become resistant to it. So if we have a situation where antibiotics are used in agriculture, where they're available over the counter, where in hospitals there is very little control over their use, clearly in that environment there's going to be a more rapid spread of resistance.

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  1. Public Health Advocate

    The documentary reveals unsettling information about the ongoing and ever-increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs, in our bodies and in our environment. Although this was an Australian broadcast, this issue is a global one, and it relates directly to a public health crisis that is currently affecting our nation and will likely worsen in the coming years.

    The documentary begins by discussing the benefits that antibiotic drugs have afforded modern medicine. Antibiotics were first developed in the 1930’s and 1940’s to treat bacterial infections in the human body. Bacterial infections that caused meningitis and appendicitis used to be fatal for the afflicted patient, but, with the advent of antibiotics, became treatable. The need to amputate limbs because of infection greatly decreased. Antibiotics also enabled the advancement of new medical procedures, such as organ transplantation, chemotherapy, and other intensive care procedures.

    However, today, the documentary has stated, infectious diseases kill more people than cancers do. The reason for this is that the bacteria are adapting, becoming more resilient to drug therapies. It is evolution on a fast-paced microscopic scale. The more hearty bacteria, that are able to withstand the drugs, survive and proliferate, passing on their advantageous genetic traits to future bacterial generations. Moreover, small segments of antibiotic-resistance genes can be shared among all bacteria, turning one’s harmless normal flora into superbugs. The documentary does not go into detail about this process of gene sharing, but the Schneider text does. Schneider has stated that the antibiotic-resistance bestowing genes are contained in plasmids which are readily taken up by all bacteria and incorporated into their bacterial genomes (p. 161). Therefore, subsequent fissions will have the superbug gene in place.

    Turning the symbiotic bacteria living in our digestive tracts into superbugs can create problems, as is does with Joel Beclu, the first victim who is focused on in the documentary. After a routine visit to his doctor, Joel had discovered he needed to have some prostate needle-core biopsies taken to see if he has prostate cancer. In the procedure, a thin needle pierces through the wall of the rectum to retrieve core samples from the prostate. A prophylactic antibiotic is given to prevent the possibility of infection. In Joel’s case, the prophylactic has no effect because the E. coli in his bowel have adapted to become an antibiotic resistant strain. The infection is unaffected by almost every drug regimen thrown at it and subsequently runs rampant throughout his body, nearly killing him.
    Before his nearly fatal infection, Joel had been traveling for a year in South Indonesia. The documentary reveals that there are hot spots overseas that serve as the breeding grounds for the burgeoning superbugs. When people travel overseas to these areas, they can be exposed to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and not even realize it. One of the worst breeding grounds, the documentary acknowledges, is India. Poor sanitation practices is compounded with the misuse of antibiotics to create an enormous and formidable reservoir of superbugs. India has no policies established to regulate the production and use of antibiotics. These drugs are mass-produced and can be obtained easily and inexpensively over the counter by people throughout the country. Furthermore, they are used inappropriately for viral infections. It is evident, therefore, that public health professionals need to address the superbug crisis by first intervening in such hot-spot areas, eradicating what the documentary refers to as the world’s “petri dishes” of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Billions of people travel to these places every year, unknowingly acquiring superbugs and then disseminating them globally.

    David Ricci, an American traveler to India—and the next victim that the documentary describes—had become infected with one of the Indian superbugs after a tragic mishap. One of his legs had been accidentally run over by a passing train. The unsanitary conditions that he had been exposed to moments after the accident were likely the source of the invading pathogens. He had been placed in a cesspool of garbage after the accident happened where luckily a passer-by miraculously stopped his arterial bleeding. He then had been taken to a sordid clinic where they amputated his leg with unsterilized equipment. Back in the United States, it had become clear that his infection was not responding to a myriad of various antibiotics. Surgeons had to continuously cut away more and more of his leg in attempts to save him from fatal septicemia. It had been discovered through microbiological laboratory tests that the pathogen that was doing its best to kill him was a superbug called NDM-1. The only drug that was finally able to halt the sepsis was Colistin, a highly toxic drug that has deleterious side-effects. A professor from the University of Queensland, Dr. Matt Cooper, states in the documentary that the NDM-1 gene is highly proficient in jumping around from one bacterium to another, and, in the near future, even the drug, Colistin, will prove to be useless against NDM-1.

    The next victim in the documentary, Nick Komilionis, also encountered the jumping superbug gene phenomenon, yet experienced it an even more alarming level after he had ruptured his bowel. In his case, the antibiotic-resistant-conferring plasmid had jumped from one genus, Klebsiella, to an entirely different one, Escherichia coli, inside his body. His body had become riddled with abscesses. There were no drugs that could kill this new strain. The only alternative available to him was radical surgery—cleaving away pieces of his body where abscesses spawned from his collar bone to his abdomen, including a large portion of his bowel. The awful scenario that happened to Nick, the documentary had warned, could be indicative of the direction that modern medicine is headed. Hospitals may find that, in the near future, they may need to treat patients with this sort of draconian approach, just as they had been treated in the pre-antibiotics era.

    The final person highlighted in the documentary who has fallen prey to a superbug onslaught, is a young woman from Papua New Guinea named Cathrina. She has a superbug strain of tuberculosis known as XDRTB or extensively drug resistant TB. She is imprisoned in isolation in a hospital in Cairns, Australia, and has a forty percent chance of dying. The quarantined room has negative air pressure to prevent the highly virulent germ from escaping, and she and others—e.g. hospital staff and other TB patients—must wear masks at all times. A decade ago this superbug TB had not existed, but now it is spreading fast in poorer regions such as Papua New Guinea. Public health efforts to eradicate XDRTB in poor regions such as this that have a high endemic level of TB are vital to halt the transformation of the bacteria to the more virulent form. If this superbug TB gets into the population, it could cause a devastating epidemic because XDRTB is airborne and can spread quickly from person to person.

    One of the reasons that poorer regions are at a high risk for the proliferation of XDRTB is because treating patients with TB is exorbitant. The documentary states that it costs an estimated one million dollars to treat just one patient with TB and that patient is yet still likely to die. A big reason for the high failure rate is that, due to the high cost of curative drugs, there are lapses in patients’ treatment. A patient may start an antibiotic regimen, and, weeks later, be unable to continue with it. Months can go by before another cost-constrained antibiotic regimen is resumed. During the lapse, more strains of superbug TB develop. The documentary estimates that, in ten years (by 2022), all of the tuberculosis strains will be totally resistant to all available antibiotics. And that disconcerting fact will be the most costly to us, in terms of money as well as people’s lives.

    And what is even more disconcerting, the documentary notes, is the fact that the great majority of pharmaceutical companies are not interested in developing new antibiotics. There is not enough profit in it for them. There is little incentive for a drug company to develop a medicine that can cure a patient fast. There is much better profit in developing drugs—such as Lipitor—to treat symptoms related to chronic conditions—such as high cholesterol. Once a patient gets started on these type of regimens, the drug company is guaranteed a steady flow of cash until the patient dies, from that ailment or some other, many years later. It is a sad yet veritable aspect of business. The best chance for the development of new antibiotics is in universities and research facilities. Profit is not the main impetus in academia.

    Finally, the documentary raises some key points regarding what we can do to thwart the blitzkrieg of the superbugs. Public health interventions must be implemented that aid in the establishment of guidelines for infection control measures. Procedures for prevention must be established, especially in the poorer regions of the world where superbugs are evolving at lightning speed. Protocols for the proper cleaning of hospitals—e.g., using bleach—must be created. Regulations on appropriate antibiotic use must be instituted in places like India and these regulations must be enforced. The documentary states that “defense may become our best offense.”

    The documentary, “Rise of the Superbugs,” is relative to what we have been studying in Public Health 4102. In the text, Introduction to Public Health, Schneider has pointed out that there has been an emergence of more virulent strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics (p. 160). She has raised many of the same concerns that were mentioned in the documentary. She has cited an example, regarding group A streptococci. These bacteria are not only becoming more prevalent, but are also becoming more deadly (p. 160).

    Echoing the documentary, Schneider also has revealed that lethal bacterial genes are jumping from species to species among bacteria. She has cited the example that a gene--coding for a toxin found in bacteria that cause dysentery--has made its way into the Escherichia coli genome. The new virulent strain is called E. coli O157:H7. She has remarked that more and more often this new strain is now being found in our ground beef. She has reiterated public health officials’ recommendations that beef be thoroughly cooked before it is eaten (p. 161). In other words, one can prevent the risk of exposing one’s normal gut microbes to the antibiotic-resistant-conferring plasmids of pathogenic superbugs simply by cooking meat thoroughly. (In my view, there is a whole host of reasons to avoid all animal products altogether and eat a plant-based diet instead, but that’s beyond the scope of this discussion.) Schneider has also remarked on the dangers of doctors over-prescribing antibiotics for inappropriate reasons, such as for viral infections (p. 162). And she has also raised a red flag toward patients not taking the entire course of an antibiotic regimen and seeing it through to the end (p. 162). Not doing so enables more virulent strains of bacteria to evolve. Finally, we have learned from the Schneider text that the extensive incorporation of antibiotics into the feed for animals throughout our agricultural industries has contributed to the rise of the superbugs (p. 162). Agricultural industries do this so that their animals can be healthier and get bigger faster, so that they can be slaughtered sooner and get to our shopping carts and dinner plates quicker. It is obvious to see why these industries fight against the regulation of this irresponsible practice since doing so would cut into their profit margins. Therefore, unless we do something to stop their misuse of antibiotics, superbug strains will continue to infiltrate our meat, spread their superbug plasmids to other bacteria, and eventually transform all of our gut microbes into ticking time bombs. And these microscopic yet H-bomb deadly superbugs are super costly to our healthcare system. Schneider has estimated that it costs us a punishing twenty billion dollars per year to treat nosocomial infections of the superbug variety, and the death toll is a staggering 99,000 victims per year (p. 162). It seems that public health authorities are aware of the major contributing factors of the superbug epidemic, yet it is imperative that all of the American public put pressure on the folks down in Washington to legislate and enforce better regulations, enabling preventative measures. In the meantime, it is my opinion that we should all vote against this agricultural industry menace by utilizing the power of the mighty American consumer dollar and not purchase animal products.

  2. koffeewitch

    "antibiotics still work and we still have the upper hand".... are they mad? There will be no new antibiotics against resistant gram negative bacteria and as far as I can tell, the treatment of the future is amputation. The writing on the wall has been there for decades.... overuse of antibiotics was a bloody stupid thing to do. And we have known it for decades.

  3. robertallen1

    As usual, you don't know what you are talking about, but again what can be expected from an ignoramus such as you've shown yourself to be? You and those like you are as dangerous as the quacks they promote.

    1. mikeysbro

      hehe funny guy. Perhaps you would like to compare the safety of fruits and vegetables to radiation mixed with vincristine for the audience? Let me know which is more dangerous from scientific studies would you? I await your answer....lets find out who is the quack...

    2. robertallen1

      Let's see your peer-reviewed papers.

    3. mikeysbro

      Well it is you that claim that I am a quack. Therefore the onus is on you to prove that the methods that I would use are dangerous.

    4. robertallen1

      Wrong as usual. You are the one making a claim about vincristine, it's up to you to supply the peer-reviewed articles. If you cannot, you've have once again been proven a quack.

    5. mikeysbro

      If you claim that I am a quack therefore you are required to prove that statement. In addition, you are required to prove my methods are dangerous as part of that original claim.
      Thus if you have no proof to back up your original claim then its obvious that you are the quack by making unsupported claims.
      I am under no obligation to provide proof of your claim since it is you that made it.

    6. robertallen1

      Your comments on "the Cancer Seller" provide proof positive of your quackery. Once again, as you made the claim about vincristine, it is up to you to back it up with peer-reviewed articles and as it's obvious that you can't, you're a fraud.

    7. mikeysbro

      Insinuations without any proof are only insinuations. If you are unable to prove your claim that I am a quack by using the aforementioned provided example then you are making an unsupported claim. Unsupported claims are known as false statements made with a deliberate attempt to deceive aka lying.

    8. robertallen1

      No insinuations at all. Direct accusations are more like it--and as for unsupported claims, what abour yours anent vincristine?

    9. jackmax

      It would appear that you would like others to do your research for you. Robert did not call you a quake, he said "You and those like you are as dangerous as the quacks they promote." That being the case as you're the one that needs to provide evidence to support your claim of fruit and vegetables to radiation mixed with vincristine in my opinion.
      All you have done by your responses to Robert is avoid your obligation to provide the evidence to support your claim.

  4. disqus_q0fJBDaGHm

    The antibiotic resistant TB sounds like a job for the Rife machine. Of course, this machine is banned in the US (so it must work!). The machine is basically a square wave transmitter that transmits into a plasma tube. Royal Rife painstakingly catalogued the resonant frequencies for various disease cells. He cured terminal cancer patients, witnessed by physicians who testified to the results, many with just one treatment.
    Rife was another hero whose life was destroyed then swept under the rug by the medical mafia.
    Perhaps there is more to curing than inserting foreign substances into the bod?. The future of medicine is energy, not drugs!

    1. robertallen1

      From Wikipedia (sources in article):

      "Several deaths have resulted from the use of Rife machines in place of standard medical treatment. In one case, a U.S. court found that the marketer of a Rife device had violated the law and that, as a result of her actions, a cancer patient had ceased chemotherapy and died. In Australia, the use of Rife machines has been blamed for the deaths of cancer patients who might have been cured with conventional therapy.

      In 1994, the American Cancer Society reported that Rife machines were being sold in a "pyramid-like, multilevel marketing scheme". A key component in the marketing of Rife devices has been the claim, initially put forward by Rife himself, that the devices were being suppressed by an establishment conspiracy against cancer "cures." Although 'Rife devices' are not registered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and have been linked to deaths among cancer sufferers, the Seattle Times reported that over 300 people attended the 2006 Rife International Health Conference in Seattle, where dozens of unregistered devices were sold."

      In short, Royal Rife was a dangerous quack and you are just as dangerous and despicable for promoting this garbage.

    2. disqus_q0fJBDaGHm

      The ACS has been saying "a cure is right around the corner send more money" for 60+ years now. The revolving door FDA are henchmen for the barbaric oncology racket which doesn't cure anyone. They just stifle the competition from real cures (i.e. Hoxsey, Essaic, Byzynski, laetrile, Gerson etc.). Why do you think Morris Fishbein, the head of the AMA at the time, tried to buy into Rife's device? If you are so smart, tell me why bitter almond is the only tree that is banned in the US. This is a free country so you are free to have your koolaid and the rest of us will make our own choices. I have no financial interests in promoting any of this "garbage" and forgive you for calling me despicable. Good luck to you.

    3. robertallen1

      Promoting the quackery from those you mention, renders you not only dangerous, but despicable.
      P.S. Source for your statement about the "bitter almond tree."

    4. mikeysbro

      Sounds can do amazing things and different frequencies of sound have different effects.
      Colors have different wavelengths and have different effects as well.
      Not to forget...
      microwaves electromagnetic frequencies
      infrared spas
      ad nauseam
      Thus its easy to conceive that anything that causes some type of frequency generation will do something. It would be very interesting to observe a machine in action such as rife's machine.

    5. disqus_q0fJBDaGHm

      Two excellent books are "Vibrational Medicine" by Gerber and "The Body Electric" (do not remember author)

  5. mikeysbro

    many years back when I was ignorant of health I had a gallbladder surgery. When I got to the hospital I was forced to sign a waiver and that waiver said they had several superbugs inside the hospital. Furthermore, that they could not get rid of them and would not be responsible if I caught any of them. hmmm A tidbit of history before antibiotics hospitals burnt herbs like rosemary in France for its antiseptic properties was used by the ancient Greeks, and Egyptians

    1. robertallen1

      And your point is?

    2. mikeysbro

      For those who have difficulty comprehending the above information, it means that even medical personnel that worked in medical hospitals (up to around mid 1940's) knew at one time that various herbs contained anti septic, anti fungal, anti microbial, antibacterial, antiviral properties! Though since then they have forgotten that those scientifically proven herbs contain such properties. Perhaps consumption of milk of amnesia is the cause or effective brainwashing with propaganda is a more likely answer ?
      Since herbs haven't changed their antibiotic properties in thousands of years perhaps its humans that change their minds.

      Now 60+ years later after the milk of amnesia has been taken, low and behold superbugs are resistant to antibiotics that were once held up as a "cure" but is now found to be false. Though these "scientific" led doctors refuse to go back to SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN herbal methods!
      If one requires knowledge to protect themselves I suggest that a good place to start researching is with garlic.

    3. robertallen1

      Just what are these scientifically proven herbs? And just who were these medical personnel and in which hospitals did they work? One way or the other, milk of amnesia reveals the extent of your education and intelligence.

  6. dmxi

    this is very disturbing...facing the facts this will be the next cause of 'genocide',if this term fits casually....at least it feels appropriate.
    if ever external entities visit this planet in the future, they would class our race as hostile beings at war with their own natural surroundings...
    never grasping how futile their efforts are/were due to not knowing how majestic their opponent is/always was !

  7. His Forever

    I have a problem. Perhaps someone can help me. I said I had/have two superbugs. The one almost killed me (see post below), but the other I'm still suffering from. I think it's a fungus (not 100% sure however), but it's the most persistent pernicious resilient infestation I've ever dealt with. I guess fungi can adapt just like bacteria, right? My wife used to do pedicures before we got married. She got a fungus on her fingers and then passed it to me, and both kids, and at least one of our nannies. The doctor said it was genetic because I and my kids still have it on our hands. I said, "Doctor, I'm not related to the nanny and she has it too." Nothing cures it. No multiple creams, antibiotics, antifungals, Nada! Olive oil (holy oil) helps, we've found, but not entirely. My wife accidentally poured boiling water on her hand and it cured the infection for her. That seems to help--but I can't bare very hot water (certainly not BOILING water), and it comes back quickly. The only other thing that helped (and I think saved my foot) was a weed in the Philippines. The native people said it was good for skin diseases. It was growing wild in my yard. I tried it; burned like fire! but dried up the infection on my foot. It saved my foot, I think. Thank God. Now my foot is totally better, but the kids and I have it on our hands--may daughter gave it back to me holding my hand. I need to go back to the Philippines for a month and get that weed! Burns like fire, but stops burning when the infection is gone. I wonder if I were wealthy and smart enough if I could find out what's in that weed and market it. It's got to be an antifungal, unless we have a strange bacterial infection, but antibiotics of all types made it explode, rather than get better. This has been a seven year quest now. If I can only kill it all and on all members of our family, then I think we'll be free of this "superbug". Hope that nanny is ok. She's a niece. I'll ask. Some people seem to be more resistant to it than others--she wasn't the one that quit with TB, however. Any advice for me that I haven't already tried? The hot water treatment really works temporarily (it kills it thermally rather than chemically), but you know you can't do that to a 4 year old--it's pretty painful--makes her cry. Here's hoping I can spend a month back in Manila and find some more of that fire weed. We call it weedweed. I just want to be healthy before I immigrate to the U.S.A.

    1. docoman

      I was told of a lady that had persistent fungal problems in her ears. After the creams from the Dr.'s didn't work, she was told to try natural yogurt,(no fruits etc), which cleared it up. I believe they thought it had something to do with the pro-biotics in the yogurt.

    2. His Forever


    3. docoman

      yes, apparently that was all it took to cure her fungal problems. I have no idea if it'll help you mate, but it's all I've got. :( Apart from Garlic as a natural medicine. That has good antibacterial properties I believe. It cured a bad case of boils my sister had overseas, after the penicillin etc didn't work from the Dr.s. I have also had a drug, I think it was called Nizoral, that helped kill off fungus though out my body. (I got a bad candida case after numerous antibiotic treatments) It, along with a diet adjustment, seemed to clear it up for me.

    4. oQ

      Eatable yogurt works but it requires to eat so much of it, Have you ever heard of BIO-K+, an acidophilus product package in small doses, it needs to be kept in the fridge. Not sure what the equivalent product would be in China but i am sure it can be found.

    5. docoman

      Yes mate, I currently take a fibre (psyllium husk) that has pre and pro biotics, as well as a probiotic (26 billion per capsule) each day. Same thing by the sounds, I have to keep the capsules in the fridge. That lady with the ear problems, the Dr. rang the muscular-skeletal lady I saw that recommended it as a topical treatment for the woman's ears, asking her why. (He was interested as it cleared up the problem) She said something like, well, it's an old 'ladies treatment' for fungal problems, I couldn't see why it wouldn't work in her ears as well.
      I agree with what you say for yogurt for the gut, it takes so much to eat to get the same as my capsule gives it's not a viable option. It might work topically though, it's worth a try for Charles. A horrible thing for him and his family to deal with, especially when kids are suffering. :(

    6. DigiWongaDude

      I heard of a guy who went to the doctor with a massive toad growing out of his head, and when the doc asked "How did you get that?!", the toad said "It kinda started as a wart and just kept growing".

    7. oQ

      Pure unpasturized apple cider vinegar will kill just about any bugs. If that doesn't work try tea tree oil and be consistent, apply every day, twice a day.

    8. His Forever


    9. docoman

      Tea tree oil, an aussie native, as oQ has said is known to have antibacterial properties. That could also be worth a try mate. Good one oQ ;)

    10. oQ

      Many years ago i had the visit of a young girl for a month, she had a huge plantar wart in the palm of her hand. It made her very shy when it was time to play with other kids as some would make comments about her hand. I started applying tea tree oil drops right on the wart several times a day and at night i made her sleep with a bandaid on the wart after applying tea tree oil on it.
      After about two weeks the war fell off by itself like a nail dislodged. It looked weird as hell but the little girl felt no pain during the whole process.

    11. docoman

      I've heard of it doing some good things to help heal injuries, that's the first I've heard of it being used for warts. I have one on my foot.... might give it a go with it. :) You're a nice lady you are oQ :)

    12. oQ

      An other one is a comfrey poultice, not sure if you can find comfrey where you live in China. It grows right in my front yard here, very invasive plant that can also be used for comfrey manure on gardens.

    13. docoman

      Ahh, I have some comfrey growing in my garden. I heard it's good for bruises etc. too. Interesting, thank you for reminding me belle dame. :)

    14. scorpgal

      If the nanny is a niece and she's not related to you, that means she's related to your wife, right? So there could be something genetic, and that would account for everyone except you. There could also be something environmental in your house, since it seems to affect everyone in your house. Either way, if you know that pouring boiling water on your 4-year-old makes her cry, it sounds to me like you've already tried it. That's not a medical treatment - it's child abuse. Obviously, neither the boiling water nor the weed actually works, or the skin condition would be gone by now. Those things just cause other injury to the skin, which distracts you from the original problem.

      I'm really surpised that only person has mentioned taking an oral antifungal medication, and no one has mentioned conditions like psoriasis. Folk remedies have their place, but if this has been going on for 7 years, you and your family need a dermatologist. There also seems to be a "blame the woman" theme going on here, since you seem to think that your wife infected the entire family by doing pedicures many years ago. That sounds about as logical as the guy on a health show who thought that his girlfriend gave him a sexually transmitted infection, because she "didn't wash her bottom 3 times a day". While I'm not one of those brainwashed Americans who think we have the best medical care in the world (I think the British have the best system), in this case I think you'll get much better care when you arrive here. I wish you well in your journey.

    15. Lynne Gordon

      You may want to look into Oxygen Therapy using 35% FGHP. It may help you. At youtube see, watch?v=CM-Ibu9SeL4

    16. marie

      try organic wild oregano oil, very powerful natural antibiotic,anti fungal, all the best marie

    17. mikeysbro

      left you a comment look under your posts from 7 days ago

    18. His Forever

      Oh, thank you. We're back in China now. We finally got the infection
      under control with a good doctor in the Philippines. 90% better, but
      you know with fungus, you have to kill every spore or it comes right
      back. The medication was very expensive, but worth it if we can get rid
      of the infection. I'll also try the garlic.

  8. Luyang Han

    This movie misses one of the biggest source of antibiotics abuse: China. Just check the keywords on google, it is a total disaster, and doctors are giving patients antibiotics on every possible issues, even it is absolutely clear that has nothing to do with bacteria, such as common cold.

    1. His Forever

      Yes. I'm in China now, and that's where I almost died 12 years ago from this problem. I was so sick with a lung ailment (IV drips for 11 days in the hospital)--and I was still teaching classes this whole time--and they underdosed me for months before a "specialist" was called in to try and save my life. She said, after looking 2 seconds at my chart, "He's twice the size of a normal person, give him twice the medicine!" I was so angry as I even gave them my weight in kilos so they wouldn't do that. They were giving a 250 pound man medicine intended for a 100 pound Chinese man. I then had an American doctor tell me I was very sick, and somehow kept functional, while others would be totally hospitalized. It took two years for me to get better (back in the U.S.A.), and I had to take medication that many consider to be a last resort (Cippero) to get better. Glad I didn't pass it on to anyone that I know of. I was worried I'd pass it on to my family or students, but as far as I know, no one got it. That was superbug number one for me. Very scary. I still have weeker lung capacity 12 years later.

  9. s oc

    After watching this movie, I will never take a boat or a plane to Australia or India. The sponsors of all those commercials wasted their money on this one. I am never eating out again, and I am staying home.

  10. john doe

    humanity is overdue for a good plague

    1. His Forever

      Right. Plague is bacterial. Well said. But I think it will be a flu, (viral) myself, rather than a "plague" per se that gets us next. Flu spreads fast, and deadly. Something like TB is not contagious enough to sweep the globe in any timely manner. If something like the new MERS gets going (also viral) then millions could die en mass. Superbugs kill a population slowly but steadily over a long period of time. Example: I know four people in my neighborhood who died of TB, including my brother-in-law in Manila. MDR-TB is rampant there. It's a scary place to live. I had a doctor tell me I'd probably test positive for TB if I had a skin test as most people who live in Manila do after a few years even without getting actively sick. That's why I always request chest x-rays, rather than skin tests. My wife wouldn't let me go to TB patient's funerals. I told her, "Honey, he's dead. When we saw him hacking past our house last week, now that was when it was most dangerous!"

    2. docoman

      Hey mate, are you the bloke I talked with a few months ago, that had had an ill daughter, and was thinking of getting some geese as alarm pets? Charles I believe the name was?

    3. Achems_Razor

      Yes, you are correct, same person, you talked to Charles.

    4. His Forever

      Yes! My daughter was very ill. Life-threateningly. Two doctors said she had primary TB, but as I found out, TB in infants is very hard to diagnose. Her lungs were cloudy, but she also had a puss-filled lymph node on her neck the size of a goose egg. Doctors asked if she had been exposed to TB, and I said, "Yes, our nanny had/has it, but quit." (That made me quite unhappy as we learned via a 3rd party that she said--"I need to quit. I have TB." "Oh, thanks for letting us know") But, I also noticed my daughter had infected earlobes. I went to a third doctor (at the Christian hospital) and talked frankly with him and asked if it could be a staff infection from her earrings with another reason for the chest cloudiness. He listened to me, and concluded I was right. We took antibiotics for a staph infection and she got better (along with a dream she had that Jesus had healed her). She also had the worse case of hand foot and mouth disease I've ever seen--apart form a fatal one. I couldn't even find internet pictures that looked like she did, she was so blistered up. I moved out of Manila--crime, disease, and poverty go hand-in-hand. She's quite healthy now, and she didn't scar much from the hand foot and mouth disease (not the same as hoof and mouth disease in animals). Never got the watch geese! :-) Moved to China instead, but now I want to immigrate to America if I can.

    5. docoman

      Ahh, that's right, your daughter was just getting over the hand foot and mouth when we spoke last I think. Bugger, TB as well :( A very strong little girl you have there. I'm glad to hear she's feeling better now mate. :)

    6. His Forever

      I don't think she had active TB. I think it was a misdiagnosis. Very complicated disease in babies, I've found out. But, actually, most of us from Manila have fought it off would test positive for it with a skin test, but it can't be found in our system currently. Or so I was told by one doctor when I asked "Why not just give her a skin test?" Comforting thought, eah? I think that it was septic (or going septic) staph infection. Either that or God healed her, as she said he did of whatever she had. The hand foot and mouth was terrible, but not often life threatening. You just look like it. Those were unhappy days all the way around. I got it too, but adults don't blister up like the babies.

  11. His Forever

    I think that viral phages are the answer. For every bacteria, there is a viral phage that will kill it--we just have to find it. Superbug? No problem! Since phages are "living" they also adapt and become superphages. The Russians had it right decades ago, and I just don't understand why we don't pour even a fraction of the money we spend on antibiotic research into phage research in the West.

    1. docoman

      I agree with you. Phages and bacteria have been waging an ongoing evolutionary war for something like 3 billion years, they seem like they'd be very handy allies in our battles with bacteria.

      The Ganges River in India would be a very interesting/disapointing place to investigate properly about it's phages for starters. It is interesting that more research hasn't been done by the west after what the Russians have already done, as you said. I hope we start looking better at that soon.

    2. Jack1952

      That evolutionary war will continue if we use a phage as a medicine. It is no different than the use of antibiotics. A phage that kills the virus will be effective until the virus mutates and resists that phage. It is not that the use of antibiotics is wrong. It is the idea that we can overcome our illnesses with easy solutions. Our fight for survival has gone on since the beginning and will continue long into the foreseeable future. Everything we use in that fight and all we learn about our survival comes in increments. Antibiotics and its uses are just a single encounter in a battle fought in that war. Hopefully, we learn a little more about ourselves with every new discovery.

    3. docoman

      G'day Jack, I agree with your post mate. Especially how we tend to think there should be an easy fix for everything. There's not always a fix at all I've had to find out the hard way myself. :(

      I was thinking, apart from the immediate 'extra weapon' they'd give us at the start, they, like bacteria, continue to evolve. Whereas our antibiotics don't evolve (as far as I'm aware), we have to find new ones. It would be handy having something that also changes/evolves with our bacterial opponents. Assuming we can get them to 'keep up' (evolve to stay effective) with new illnesses, that seems to be a better longer term solution then antibiotics.

      I'm no expert mate, it's just my thoughts. I've only relatively recently learned of phages and am surprised I've not earlier heard something about them, especially from the medical community.

      I read recently that some water from the Ganges River at room temp. was more effective at killing E. coli bacteria then boiling distilled water was. I'm not sure how properly controlled that test was, but that surprised me, assuming it's accurate of course.

    4. Jack1952

      We have been using antibiotics for less than 100 years. It was a miracle cure. Millions of lives have been saved and people have been saved from suffering the scourges of an incredible variety of infections. I may have died years ago except for antibiotics. It is hard to judge the effectiveness of antibiotics when you try to assess what could have happened but didn't. The idea of superbugs developing is a relatively new idea. Up until then, antibiotics was the magic bullet. It is no wonder that other avenues of research stopped. Why go on when antibiotics had been so successful?

      Although, I could be wrong, but I tend to be sceptical of special properties attributed to the Ganges. It may only be the result of religious confirmation bias.

    5. docoman

      Good point about we'd found our magic bullet and concentrated our research on what worked. I'm another that probably wouldn't still be around without antibiotics, lucky for us we are living in these times. :)

      I had the same reservations about the Ganges and it's phages and associated religious beliefs. I saw a doco on TV that seemed to be fairly unbiased by religion and acknowledged that possibility, that was quite interesting. It mentioned the Soviets had done some research into phages. I did a little looking on the net myself, there was a fair amount of religious bias, but not in all of it. I found enough that I thought it was interesting and potentially very promising, worth at least a closer look by our medical community.

      I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time ;)

    6. robertallen1

      I recall seeing the same documentary. There's a fairly detailed article on phages on wikipedia.

    7. docoman

      Thanks mate, an interesting read. There is a couple wiki pages on them. I'm interested to know, what are your thoughts on this mate?

    8. robertallen1

      Seems like more research needs to be conducted. Sounds like a project for the Venter Institute.

    9. Malchik

      And sadly, like everything in the medical world as of late, little is being funded to its research,

      This is what happens when you put medicine in the private sector - cures don't generate money, constant suffering and ailment does.

    10. His Forever

      Right. And viral phages work! You just don't get a lot of money for the amount of time it takes to find the phage, because they are so effective when applied, ending the problem in hospitals, etc. As I science teacher, I tell my students that 99.999999999999% of all virus aren't as "deadly" as you think--all living things have a virus that attacks their kind, and in fact, every human on the planet alive today of a certain age has at least six viruses in their body now. I have a wart I'm looking at now: virus. I get cold sores when I'm stressed: virus. Not sure what the others would be I myself am harboring, but I heard on a doc that it's more than you think. Viruses are the ANSWER to the superbug problem, as they are bacterial.

    11. robertallen1

      Are you one of those science teachers who believes in a six-day creation and that all life came forth spontaneously?

    12. His Forever

      Yes. I know and understand and teach the theory of evolution when it comes up in the book, but the students know I don't personally believe it. I've found all other aspects of science quite compatible with my Christian faith. But, it's not advanced science--basic overview courses, but Chinese are brilliant, so you need to know your stuff as well.

    13. robertallen1

      So you're teaching something you don't believe. That makes you a hypocrite. So you put your religion before science, this makes you a wilful ignoramus.

    14. jackmax

      How can the parents have any confidence in your teaching if you don't believe what your teaching.?
      With all you must have seen and learned for you now to be educating our children how can you disagree with evolution.?

    15. jackmax


      Are my question to hard to answer or is it you just don't want to?

      So you can't say that you haven't seen them here they are once more for you.

      How can the parents have any confidence in your teaching if you don't believe what your teaching.?
      With all you must have seen and learned for you now to be educating our children how can you disagree with evolution.?

    16. Jack1952

      Maybe I'm just a sucker that way, but I'd pay double for a cure than I would for constant suffering and ailment. I'd pay triple for a cure that eliminates a life threatening ailment. But, I guess, maybe it would be better to save my money and pay less for pain and suffering and death. Thing is, though, dead people are notorious for not paying their debts. I know when I die, my creditors are SOL if they think I'm paying for that drug that didn't cure me. I'm gonna be one spiteful corpse.

    17. lynneb

      You need to remember that phages and viruses keep evolving as well. What happens if or when a phage evolves that kills beneficial gut bacteria?

    18. His Forever

      I'm sure there is a phage like that already in our gut, or it wouldn't surprise me if there were. The phage doesn't want to kill all or 100% the bacteria in a living host or it would kill off its source of reproduction as well. But, I was thinking today in the park--phages don't work for INFECTED people that I know of. They are for preventative medicine and hospitals. You spray the hospital with the phage solution in massive doses, and wash it down all the drains and all the beds and stuff. I can't recall an internal use for phages in a living patient, so we DO need antibiotics that a living host can use. It needs to be a two pronged attack on the superbugs. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

    19. IndustryOfBlame

      You can't ingest a bacteriophage orally or take it intravenously and expect it to "attack" the problem area you are looking to treat. Viruses are vastly complex on the molecular level, so they don't metabolise throughout the body like common antibiotics do, and the immune system also poses a big problem. I'm not saying phages aren't worth looking into, but clearly the matter isn't as simple as changing what's in the pill you take.

      Phages have potential in treating skin and respitory infections, but their extremely short shelf life and limits of application makes them a fairly weak replacement for antibiotics.

    20. Jack1952

      I thought Jesus was the answer. Well, back to the drawing board.

  12. over the edge

    an informative and well done doc. it did however focus om problems and issues that need doctors, government and industry to solve for the most part. antibiotic resistance can be slowed by those of us who take the antibiotics and have access to proper medical treatment. please if you take antibiotics follow these tips (and any others from your doctor or pharmacist)

    - finish the prescription even if you feel better

    - if it says take with food or water then do so

    - take the recommended dosage and at the recommended times

    - do not share prescriptions

    - if refrigeration requires please do (do not freeze)

    - do not store in bathroom medicine cabinet or any where with temperature/humidity variations

    - if you take other medicine vitamins, supplements or natural remedies ask your doctor or pharmacist if they affect the prescription

    - if you are sick avoid contact with others as much as reasonably possible (going to work while sick does not make you a hero)

    - cleanliness makes worlds of difference

    - get recommended shots before travel and put medicines in carry on

    - before travel educate yourself on how to protect yourself from illness before leaving (in places where people should not drink tap water many still brush their teeth with it or use ice cubes made from it)

    - this list is not all encompassing but a good start

    1. robertallen1

      Excellent advice and as a matter of fact, these pointers generally appear on the labels. The problem is that too many people don't read them and worse yet, too many think they know more than their doctors or doctors in general. .

    2. I AM POP SLAG.

      cant have people thinking that,

      daddy paid a lot for that certificate-

      you seem to forget the drug resistant strains are directly a consequence of overuse and reliance on antibiotics- prescribed by these oh so clever doctors.

      Oh and that your doctor is about as likely to kill you as any illness with errors of stupidity or a dirty hospital which seem to have been some of the primary breeding grounds for these bugs...

    3. robertallen1

      Do you have anything better?

    4. I AM POP SLAG.

      smaller hospitals, training and selecting of doctors because of their natural attributes rather than the schooling they can afford-
      less influence of profit regarding healthcare-
      at the moment the healthcare system is so profit oriented that its hard to call what the medical profession does by the name "healthcare".
      and until we address the fact the modern world is poisonous were fECKED anyway.

    5. dmxi

      nice to see another TDF user with the same contempt as i have with this superbug !