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Superbugs are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that are resistant to most of the antibiotics and other medications commonly used to treat the infections they cause. A few examples of superbugs include resistant bacteria that can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections and skin infections.
Drug resistance (antimicrobial resistance) is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be slowed, but not stopped. Over time, germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi adapt to the drugs that are designed to kill them and change to ensure their survival. This makes previously standard treatments for some infections less effective, and sometimes ineffective. Researchers continue to evaluate how these germs develop resistance. They also study how to diagnose, treat and prevent antimicrobial resistance.
Certain actions may step up the appearance and spread of antimicrobial-resistant germs, such as:
To protect yourself from harmful germs and lower the risk of illnesses:
You can also help tackle antibiotic resistance by:
Pritish K. Tosh, M.D.
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