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There was a time when a shot of penicillin or some other antibiotic was the cure-all for just about any infection.
Over time, however, various bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics and, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 23,000 people die annually from infections. Some even take out hospitalized patients who already suffer from weakened immune systems and contract the infections during surgical procedures.
Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a family medicine physician and assistant professor in the department of Family Medicine at Rowan University- School of Osteopathic Medicine, says antibiotics have been used so widely for so long that the organisms they were designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective.
The problem was driven home after three members of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers were diagnosed Monday with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus , known as MRSA, a staph infection that is resistant to many antibiotics.
Caudle said prevention is the best way to fight these so-called resistant “superbugs” like MRSA.
“This is something we are seeing more in the communities. You know, this is something that we used to see in hospitals en route cropping up into communities nationwide,” Caudle said Monday in an interview with CNN.