2016 Rio Olympic Mishaps

As the 2016 Olympics hosted in Rio, Brazil are in full swing many of the forewarned issues regarding Zika outbreaks, overwhelming water pollution and even increased crime have not been resolved making the event a disaster. What is even more worse is that what was initially reported about the issues were downplayed and  some athletes were shocked when they arrived about the conditions that could ultimately affect their health.

For instance Olympic rowers were warned about the dangers of having polluted water from the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon splashed into their eyes and mouths prompting officials to urge them to bleach the handles of their oars, and swish with anti-bacterial mouthwash, keep water bottles in plastic bags, all in efforts to avoid diarrhea and other long term gastrointestinal symptoms.

This is just one issue but the biggest and perhaps the most dangerous affecting a larger population is the growing  pandemic of the Zika virus, which produces a viral strain that can cause microcephaly in unborn fetuses in pregnant women. It is a major concern because many of the games are hosted outdoors to crowds of fans and the course of Zika carrying mosquitoes are difficult to predict, which made athletes think of creative ways to protect themselves. Many athletes skipped out in being a part of the Olympics this year because of the concern for Zika.

Superbug

A dreaded superbug found for the first time in a U.S. woman

Antimicrobial resistance is a term we are hearing more and more often. As a nurse I have seen these antimicrobial resistant bacteria in many patients I have taken care of. These include: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus(MRSA); Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus(VRE); Antibiotic Resistant Mycobacterium Tuberculosis; Clostridium Difficile, and many more.

So what causes these bacterias to become resistant to the antibiotics that were so effective before ? Resistance can occur from mutation or by bacteria obtaining new DNA. The excessive and unnecessary use of antibiotics in humans and animals has also contributed to antimicrobial resistance. Limiting the over prescription of antibiotics for minimal complaints such as colds could decrease the risk of bacteria developing resistance.

Recently there has been cases in the U.S. of a superbug. This bacteria was resistant to the Colistin antibiotic which is the one used when no other antibiotics seem effective. It is estimated that superbugs cause 700,000 deaths each year. So what can we do to protect ourselves from these superbugs in the years to come ? Reducing the antibiotic use in humans and animals, promoting hygiene, and sending researchers out to find new antibiotics in our environment.