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This disease is commonly found in soil or water, but can regularly occur on the surface of plants and animals. It is known as an opportunistic pathogen, meaning it exploits an open wound to cause infection. This superbug can be deadly and is associated with lungs, kidneys and blood infections. It is particularly serious in patients admitted with cancer, cystic fibrosis and burns.
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is present in the hospital environment, it can spread through food, medical equipment and solutions used in hospitals. As it has a protective outer layer it is resistant to most antibiotics. This bacterium also has a low nutritional requirement meaning it can grow faster once in the body. It has a mortality rate of 50%.
As this bacteria is resistant to most antibiotics a combination of two or more antibiotics are used to destroy the bacteria. They will generally be given orally or intravenously. Surgery may be required in certain cases where the bacterium has damaged the soft tissue; it will need to be removed. A few other areas may also need surgery depending on the severity such as eye infections, heart infections, ear infections and bone-joint infections.
Amputation maybe needed as a last resort where the disease has gotten into a leg wound. In most cases a patient will be completely cured with the help of medication and surgery. However, if an individual has a weak immune system from AIDS or cancer, prevention is the only solution.
Find out more about Superbugs Caught in Hospitals
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