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May 1, 2014 7:31 AM by Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahKRIS

Superbugs Causing International Panic

CORPUS CHRISTI - It's called a "superbug", and it's something that's causing an international panic in the medical community.

It's a bug that's immune to antibiotics. Because antibiotics are taken so often, bugs adapt and become resistant, turning into "superbugs."

A report by the UN's World Health Organization said the threat is serious enough to "threaten the achievements of modern medicine" pushing us toward a "post-antibiotic era."

MRSA, resistant to antibiotics, kills more Americans a year than AIDS. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is another superbug. It's now found in almost 100 countries around the world. It's an international call to action, and it's being taken seriously by US health officials.

"It now spreads all around the world with the speed of jet travel," said CDC Dr. Steve Solomon. "If there's a resistant bacteria there, it's here tomorrow."

Even doctors agree that antibiotics should be prescribed with caution.

"I think that there is a fair amount of patients that present themselves to a doctors office," said local physician George Benavidez. "Request antibiotics that are given to them, and probably not an objective need for it."

He said patients should stop pressuring doctors to prescribe antibiotics. If a patient is already on antibiotics, he said to take as directed and complete the entire course, to keep partially-treated bacteria from adapting and spreading.

He also emphasized that patients should never take someone else's medicine.

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