Forget bed bugs; there are smaller critters out there ready to do us in and, apparently, they know just how to do it.
A superbug, tracked to India, has caused people in three states to become sick and it’s starting to pop up all over the world. For a few decades now, scientists have been warning that our dependence on antibiotics will oneday create an organism you can’t kill. Maybe this is the one.
The organism — NDM-1 — depends on unsanitary conditions. Apparently, kids in India play in sewage. But then technology does its thing; it spreads thanks to the airplane.
“There are certain factors in the Indian subcontinent that are going to make this spread quite widely,” Timothy Walsh, who helped discover the germ, told the Boston Globe. “It’s very easy for us to forget in the Western world how desperate the conditions are in some of these countries.”
There’s not much sense fretting about it. Just wash your hands, remain calm, and don’t play in sewage.
The thing is: You just never know how smart germs can be. Take Legionnaire’s disease. The illness — a fatal lung illness first discovered in Philadelphia — was caused by a microbe in water. But it could only affect you if you inhaled it. You can drink contaminated water and not get Legionnaire’s disease, but you shouldn’t breathe it.
The illness died out, but came back in a city in Spain in
1999 2009. Researchers couldn’t figure out why, LiveScience reports today, until they noticed everyone who was infected had been on a street under construction.
It came from an asphalt paving machine that sprayed water to keep the dust down.
It gets ickier. Some scientists are theorizing that the answer to superbugs, may be found in cockroaches.