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UK and US troops bring "superbug" illness back w/ them

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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:53 AM
Original message
UK and US troops bring "superbug" illness back w/ them,,2087-2393815,00...

Wpunded troops returning from Iraq have been linked by government scientists to outbreaks of a deadly superbug in National Health Service hospitals. Injured soldiers flown back to be treated on the NHS have been infected with a rare strain of Acinetobacter baumannii, a superbug resistant to antibiotics.

At one hospital in Birmingham in 2003 the bacteria went on to infect 93 people, 91 of whom were civilians. Thirty-five died, although the hospital has not been able to establish whether the superbug was a contributory factor.

Acinetobacter baumannii commonly inhabits soil and water and is associated with warmer climates such as the Middle East. It is resistant to most common antibiotics and, if left untreated, can lead to pneumonia, fever and septicemia.

The bacterium has become a concern in the US army, where it has been identified in more than 240 military personnel since 2003, killing five.

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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:57 AM
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1. we're killing them over there, so we can die over here.
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Kutjara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:10 AM
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2. The law of unintended consequences is all over...
...our little adventure in Iraq. Sometimes you can't even lose for losing.
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pooja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:27 AM
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3. Whenever you hear superbug... be wary... they may be using
biological weapons against Iraqis...this may have just unintentionally been passed on to troops.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:08 AM
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4. anyone else recall all the pneumonia outbreaks among the troops in 2003?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:15 AM
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5. People living in particular areas of the world, always build up
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 04:15 AM by SoCalDem
immunities to the local "bugs"..People who visit for a short time are not likely to be infected unless they go to remote areas (that's why more travelers don't get sick)....

When militaries invade, they are bound to get sick..

Purely anecdotal, but I grew up in Panama, and to this date rarely ever get sick.. I drank water from a garden hose in Acapulco while my fellow travelers were puking their guts up from the ice..mosquito bites rarely bother me, and I have never had the flu.. I have never refrained form eating any local foods anywhere I went and have never gotten ill.. My husband usually has the upset stomach as soon as his feet touch the ground.. :shrug:
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. They also carry diseases with them
The Flu Pandemic of 1918/19 is a classic example. The commonly accepted scenario is the mutated virus was carried by American troops to Europe. From there it spread around the world like wild fire. Estimated deaths world wide - 20 million, in the US - over a half million.

War: The gift that keeps on giving.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 05:12 AM
Response to Original message
6. One more vote needed for the greatest page
to make this information more widely available
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. Another article lays blame on medical supply shortages in Iraq
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 07:27 AM by lostnfound
and on 'battlefield medical care doctrine ' /

It is unclear how the rapidly evolving strains of Acinetobacter developed drug resistance. It could be because shortages at field hospitals forced doctors to cut short patients antibiotic treatmentsa sure-fire way to create drug resistant bacteriaor that the drug-resistant bugs originated with wounded Iraqis undergoing treatment at the same facilities. (A decade of sanctions left Iraqi hospitals in similarly short supply of antibiotics, because these drugs were considered dual use material of use to Ba'thist bio-weapons specialists. It is possible that an unintended effect of sanctions was the evolution of the strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria now coming to the attention of hospital staff.)

According to one study at the National Defense University, battlefield medical care doctrine (not just medical supply shortages) is largely to blame for the State-side spread of Acinetobacter (Thompson et al., 2005). The Pentagon's current battlefield medical doctrine emphasizes stabilization care in the fieldessentially, binding up or gluing shut wounds to stem bleedingand getting the seriously wounded out of country on med-evac flights to definitive care centers in Germany and the U.S.

This practice results in minimal debridement of contaminated wounds, the authors noteleaving microbe-rich soil, clothing, and shrapnel remains in wounds for days. Surgeons in Germany and Washington, DC report routinely pulling Iraq dirt and sand from wounds. The resulting introduction of drug resistant microbes to U.S. hospitals will burden civilian and V.A. health care systems already troubled by home grown superbugs, according to the authors.

The medical supply shortages in Iraq appear to have been due at least partly to the implementation of a new web-based just in time corporate model supply chain system at the Pentagonthe Defense Medical Logistics and Supply System, or DMLSSjust as our troops launched the invasion in 2003. Every complex computer program requires weeks or months to iron out bugs and glitches. Unfortunately, Defense Logistics had to address such problems while our nation was most in need of a smoothly operating system of logistics.
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verdalaven Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
9. MSM beat us over the head with bird flu
This is the first I've heard of a super flu in the US that, in one outbreak, killed 35. Isn't that newsier (or at least more local and pressing) than sick chickens in China? Amazing.

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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. From the CDC webpage/ other googled items

Last article being the scariest.."monitored on a state level, ignored on the national level"

During January 1, 2002--August 31, 2004, military health officials identified 102 patients with blood cultures that grew A. baumannii at military medical facilities treating service members injured in Afghanistan and the Iraq/Kuwait region.
All of these cases met the criteria for A. baumannii bloodstream infection on the basis of criteria established by CDC's National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance (NNIS) system (2). Of these 102 cases, 85 (83%) were associated with activities during OIF and OEF. Most of the infections were reported from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), Germany (33 patients: 32 OIF/OEF casualties, one non-OIF/OEF), and Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), District of Columbia (45 patients: 29 OIF/OEF casualties, 16 non-OIF/OEF). In both facilities, the number of patients with A. baumannii bloodstream infections in 2003 and 2004 exceeded those reported in previous years (one case during 2000--2002 at LRMC; two cases during 2001--2002 at WRAMC).

Species of the genus Acinetobacter, except some of the A. lwoffii strain, grow very well on MacConkey agar (without salt). Most Acinetobacters are infectious, and the strain A. baumannii is the most common nosocomial infection in health care centers and military medical facilities. A. baumannii can cause infections including skin and wound infections and pneumonia. It also causes meningitis, but A. lwoffi is mostly responsible for that. A. baumannii can live on human skin or dry surfaces for weeks

Since the start of the Iraq War, over 300 cases of A. baumannii had infected U.S. soldiers in the Middle East. At least five have died.

Ethanol has been found to stimulate the virulence of A. baumannii.<1> Tests on infected nematode worms dosed with ethanol found that the worms laid fewer eggs and their life spans were only 80% of worms infected with a non-ethanol responsive strain of A. baumannii, suggesting the common misconception that drinking alcohol kills infections is false and drinking alcohol may actually help the infection's spread /

Early this year a outbreak of MDR Acinetobacter Baumannii swept over Arizona. 236 cases in just two months. It was reported by the state disease monitoring systems, but ignored on the national level.

Now dubbed "Supergerms", they spread without warning and seemingly without official notices since they are infections instead of diseases. A mere technicality that for some reason the government is taking advantage of in the military.

A nurse at Bethesda in Washington DC left with a lung infection. She went to a civilian hospital were it was learned this was Acinetobacter Baumannii. She succumbed to the infection quickly and with no fan fare. The story went silent.

In Brooks hospital in Texas a soldier fights for his life as his combat wounds are made worse by infections the doctors cant seem to handle. The only reason his story is known is the girl friend speaks for him since the staff want this quiet.

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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
10. "An ounce of prevention...." Redeployment out of Iraq as Murtha
advised is now the logical option. Of course this ill-advised misadventure should never have been initiated in Iraq in the first place but the DOD and the neocons would not be denied. Be careful of what you wish for...
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