Modern medicine is now facing a problem of epic proportions.
For years, scientists have feared that one day, there would emerge a strain of bacteria that was resistant to antibiotics, making the strain in question extremely difficult to treat and thus putting millions at risk. And regretfully, it seems that that day has finally come: doctors are claiming that not one but two such strains of bacteria have arisen, one of which is already loose in the United States.
Disturbingly, the bug already present in the US is very hard for medical examiners to detect, meaning that at this point it could be circulating among hundreds of Americans without them realizing it. In fact, the bacteria strain is so elusive that medical professionals have started calling it the “Phantom Menace,” a darkly humorous reference to the subtitle of Star Wars Episode I.
Quickly moving to neutralize the threat before it metastasizes into a real epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and other medical agencies have set forth to uncover what makes the “Phantom Menace” tick. Although much work still remains to be done before the bug can be safely disposed of, what they have learned so far is incredibly interesting. According to Breitbart:
“The U.S. bacteria has been dubbed the ‘Phantom Menace,’ cribbing the name of the first Star Wars prequel, because it has been difficult to detect. The Washington Post explains how it works:
‘This superbug’s strains belong to the family of bacteria known as CRE, which are difficult to treat because they are often resistant to most antibiotics. They are often deadly, too, in some instances killing up to 50 percent of patients who become infected, according to the CDC. Health officials have called CRE among the country’s most urgent public health threats.
The target of Thursday’s report is relatively new. Unlike more common types of CRE, it carries a plasmid, or mobile piece of DNA, with an enzyme that breaks down antibiotics. And what makes these bacteria even more dangerous is their ability to transfer that plasmid–and that antibiotic resistance–to normal bacteria that are present in our bodies.’
‘What we’re seeing is an assault by the microbes on the last bastion of antibiotics,’ said Centers for Disease Control Director Thomas Frieden.
In essence, we have a bacteria spreading a contagion to other bacteria that makes them resistant to antibiotic treatment. The other strain described in the Washington Post report was discovered in China two weeks ago, and a case has been reported in Denmark.”