4. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Possibly one of the most infamous superbugs, this bacterium always hits the headlines of local papers when it appears in hospitals throughout the world. Staphylococcus Aureus is more common than people think as it is often carried on the skin or inside the nostrils or throat. In this form all it will do is cause mild skin infections which are easily treated. If it gets into a cut or skin wound, however, things can get nasty.
If MRSA – a strain of Staphylococcus aureus – gets into the bloodstream it can reach and infect nearly every part of the body. Blood poisoning, lung and heart infection and abscesses inside the body are all common complications once a person is infected. Treatment is currently a mixture of antibiotic types, but it will definitely take a couple of weeks to deal with. This is not something that will only take merely a few days to get over.
What makes this bacterium so dangerous is the fact that it is immune to nearly all antibiotics. It spreads easily from physical contact, and recently outbreaks of MRSA in communities away from hospitals have occurred. This could be due to the fact that large amounts of the population, around 2%, carry an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus Aureus. The thirty-day mortality rate has been seen to be as high as 30%.
3. Resistant E. Coli
Usually the only time you hear about Escherichia coli, or E. Coli, is when you or someone you know suffers from a case of food poisoning. A low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea are the main symptoms that occur when an E. Coli infection hits the body. Although it is nasty to go through, it isn’t that dangerous unless you are very old or very young.
However, earlier this year a particularly virulent strain of E. Coli struck Germany. Eleven countries were hit, 2,000 people were infected and 18 deaths resulted from this infection. While the death rate isn’t that bad compared to other superbugs (being roughly equal to normal mortality rates), what makes this new strain so dangerous is the associated risk of haemolytic uraemic syndrome or HUS as a complication. Over 500 cases have been reported in Germany so far, which is a 25% secondary infection rate.