/>
X
Innovation

How the superbug rise will probably kill you

Chances are the superbug that kills you will be a bug you already have.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Chances are the superbug that kills you will be a bug you already have.

Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is a fairly common bacteria you may have in your gut right now. (Picture from Wikipedia.)

Normally it is kept under control by the other bacteria in your gut, the life-or-death struggle most common while you're out living life.

Trouble is, if you have C. diff, and you take some heavy antibiotics, C. diff may about all that's left after the treatment. Then it can kill you. Or cost you your colon.

A support group, cdiffsupport.com, has one of the best rundowns of the disease. It may be vulnerable to another antibiotic, but because antibiotic use is now so common it may not be.

If the antibiotics don't work you may be on your own. Sufferers have tried everything from yogurt to brewer's yeast to create friendly bacteria that will kill C. diff. They have also tried enemas to expel it.

There is an important lesson here, concerning a more general attitude toward not just bacteria but the other living things with which we inhabit the world.

Humans' most common response to threat from other species is to kill the threat. That's why we take so many antibiotics, that's why antibiotic soaps and wipes are so popular.

But we are reaching the end of that road. Any sterilized ecosystem is vulnerable to aggressive predators. Your lawn, our world, and your gut all have that in common.

Kill 'em all is an attitude that can kill you, too.

Editorial standards

Related

The 16 best Cyber Monday deals under $30 still available
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

The 16 best Cyber Monday deals under $30 still available

We will see a completely new type of computer, says AI pioneer Geoff Hinton
artificial-intelligence

We will see a completely new type of computer, says AI pioneer Geoff Hinton

Watch out for this triple-pronged PayPal phishing and fraud scam
phishing.jpg

Watch out for this triple-pronged PayPal phishing and fraud scam