Antibiotic Contamination of Water: What Are The Long Term Effects On Us?

Huge amounts of antibiotics are consumed every year.  In 1954, two million pounds of antibiotics were produced in the US. Today, that figure is more than 50 million [1]. One statistic released by the FDA suggests that ~30 million pounds of antibiotics are used by livestock for growth promotion and prevention (prophylaxis) [2].

This massive usage of antibiotics is having a toll on the environment as residual antibiotics from human and animal use can enter the environment in many ways. The 3 primary ways are [3]:

1)      Wastewater effluent discharge

2)      Human/animal waste run off from land

3)      Leaching

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Rhode Island Hospital Has Superbug Scare

A New Delhi superbug has made its way into wards and minds of the United States.

A strain of the highly drug resistant common bacterium Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, has been found in the Rhode Island Hospital. This particular strain is called Klebisella, and can cause pneumonia and other infections. Two Rhode Island patients have contracted the superbug (super in that it’s super hard to kill) and in doing so have clocked in as the 12th and 13th cases ever recorded in the United States.

I’ve only ever thought of travel as enriching our lives, but now it is being revealed as having jeopardized one. The story goes: a Cambodian woman who lives in Rhode Island became sick with lymphoma in May of 2011 while visiting her homeland. That December, she was hospitalized in Ho Chi Minh City before flying home and being admitted to Rhode Island Hospital for three months, receiving chemotherapy. This February, the woman suffered a bladder infection caused by a different bacterium. Read More

Aimee Copeland, Flesh-Eating Bacteria Survivor, Finally Released From Hospital

Our last post about Aimee Copeland was a sad one. A beautiful, loving, healthy 24 year old woman of Georgia suffered a devastating zip line accident that escalated from twelve staples in a deep leg gash into the amputation of her left leg, right foot, both hands, and part of her torso at the merciless hands of the flesh-eating bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila, commonly known as necrotizing fasciitis.

But now, it fills me with joy to be able to deliver good news about Aimee, to tell the beginning of a happy ending. After a fresh air-deprived 49 days inside the walls of the Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta, Aimee has ventured outside for the very first time. Less than a month ago, doctors gave her little chance of survival. Last Sunday, her condition was changed from “serious” to “good.” Last Monday, she was out in the sunshine with her parents. Fittingly, her father, Andy, remarked in his blog that “the sun has returned to her life,” noting that she had a bright smile and a “beauty of survival, of resilience.” This Tuesday, Aimee has been discharged from the hospital, and is headed to a rehabilitation clinic. In a whirlwind of good news, Aimee is well on the way to recovery.

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