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Antibiotic-Resistant Infection Spreading

'Superbug' Outbreaks Occurring in Children, Otherwise Healthy People

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Church says that it's believed that the rash of outbreaks detailed in both hospitals likely results from the overuse of antibiotics. "But it's clearly not the same genetic strains as we've seen in hospitalized patients."

Both experts say their studies should serve as a warning to prevent potential problems. Their advice:

  • Thoroughly wash any open wound with soap and water, no matter how minor it appears, and continue to keep it clean.
  • Wash hands frequently -- especially before touching any wound.
  • Avoid sharing towels, combs, soap, and other items that touch skin.
  • Get prompt medical attention for any skin wound that leads to a fever or develops a blister, boil, redness, or swelling -- symptoms of possible staph infection.

"These infections can easily be controlled if they are diagnosed early and treated with antibiotics to which they are not resistant," says Coffin. "Any serious-looking skin infection should be promptly seen by a doctor."

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