The Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first case of an antibiotic resistant “superbug” has been found in the United States. The MCR-1 E coli strain was found in a Pennsylvania woman in April. It is resistant to the strong and often last resort antibiotic, Colistin. Fortunately, there are other antibiotics that can be used in various combinations and doses to help treat these types of infections.
The development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics makes treatment of infections increasingly difficult. The unnecessary use of antibiotics is a major contributor to the problem and has been a growing concern since the widespread use of penicillin in the 1940s.
At Capital BlueCross, we are monitoring the situation closely and understand our customers may have questions and concerns about the “superbug.” Meanwhile, we encourage everyone to take personal steps to avoid a bacterial infection and reduce your chances of becoming ill.
1. Hand hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based skin cleansers.
2. Keep food preparation surfaces clean using disinfectants, and ensure that vegetables are thoroughly washed and meats are properly cooked before eating.
3. Do not take antibiotics unnecessarily. Antibiotics are not effective for viral illnesses and should not be used indiscriminately.
4. If you are sick, avoid close contact with others.
5. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
For more information on protecting yourself and your family visit the Centers for Disease ControlExternal Site Disclaimer.