For several years, the media has been doomsaying the antibiotic apocalypse. Medical studies have been documenting the overuse of antibiotics in daily medicine. Licensed health officials and medical specialists have been urging people to use antibiotics only in extreme cases.
Even according to recent studies, several strains of viruses have begun to gain resistance to the strongest of antibiotics available on the market, putting the afflicted in the position where they need more money to be cured, and researchers into developing a newer stronger drug without extreme side-effects like paralysis or death.
The media has lovingly called the whole debacle the antibiotic apocalypse. A fitting name for a mental image showing a virus entirely immune to any form of medicine, rapidly wiping out the population of the continents.
Some even mused that if said virus caused the dead to get back up with a hankering for brains and man-flesh, it would make for a pretty popular television series.
But back on a serious note, medical professionals have been warning of an oncoming antibiotic apocalypse since the turn of the century. And, as it turns out, a highly antibiotic-resistant virus does exist. It has even been around since 2005.
The Antibiotic Apocalypse Has Been Postponed
The antibiotic-resistant super-virus was first identified in 2005, and the world does not know about it not because there a need to not create panic. The virus was, and continues to be, not a cause for concern.
Mcr-1 is the name of the drug-resistance and have been present in at least one type of virus for over a decade. Mcr-1 has the property of enabling resistance to colistin. Colistin is the antibiotic doctors will currently prescribe when all other antibiotics have failed. It is so strong that it is also toxic to the human body if taken at length.
The way the mcr-1 gene evolved allows it to be present along with several other drug-resistant or drug-immune genes. Such a product would be the dreaded superbug that doomsayers keep preaching about.
In 2015, medical specialists found and isolated 19 viral strains having both the mcr-1 gene as well as another drug-resistant or drug-immunity gene. The total pool of strains searched was 21,006. The world currently has at least 19 superbugs roaming about, but there has yet to be an official antibiotic apocalypse.
The reason? The strains are rare, quickly die out, and resistance or immunity to one or two powerful drugs do not make the virus any stronger in regards to other weaker drugs that will kill but require an additional week or two to do so.
Health officials have asked the media to stop the antibiotic apocalypse fear-mongering and instead warn people about the real danger – the toxicity in our bodies that come from antibiotics, especially colistin.
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.