The "Superbug" - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

The "Superbug"

It's hard to tame, cure and often treat... And now studies show it's more prevalent than previously thought. It's called the "Superbug"... a dangerous, drug-resistant staph germ that infects tens of thousands nationwide. And it's no stranger to patients in Amarillo.

NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg explains how local medical facilities combat the culprit. Nursing homes in the panhandle treat people with this super-bug known as MRSA - everyday. But it's become more difficult over the years, because fewer drugs can nip the infection in the bug.

"We have occasionally seen it, people who've been admitted from outside sources sometimes come in with it, and we haven't really had a big problem with it here, we've been real lucky," says Karen Jeffers, an Infection Control and Wound Care specialist.

It's not just luck... It's practicing preventative measures... Like keeping patients away from each other.

"You're going to isolate them, reduce the contact with open sores, you'll wear gloves and a gown," says Jeffers.

And most importantly, doing something we all learned in kindergarten.

"Make sure you get under the rings and - with your fingers scratch your palms to get the soap underneath your fingernails because thats where the germs like to hide," says Sharon Neal, the Director of Nurses at Ware Living Center.

Because the germs can spread easily in hospitals - just by touch. And the symptoms aren't pretty... Rashes, shortness of breath, a fever and fatigue. And the worst case scenario for patients.

"Their immune system is already compromised, so MRSA can be a contributing factor in their death," says Jeffers.

Jeffers says often when older people get MRSA, they remain carriers who often have to deal with reoccurring symptoms, because they can't get rid of it.

Powered by Frankly