Staph Infection and Water Contamination

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Staph is the resident flora of the human skin, meaning that it normally resides on the skin but does not cause disease. Staph is a gram-positive bacteria entering the human body through cuts, abrasions, or by coming in contact with the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and nostrils causing disease and infection. Most strains of staph can be treated with standard antibiotic therapy, but there are an increasing number of infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Staph infections can be transmitted in vectors such as the hands of health workers and in contaminated water and other materials.

Under certain conditions, staph can be way more dangerous than it used to be. If staph can enter the lungs, heart, bloodstream, and urinary tract, serious and life-threatening illnesses can be caused. Staph in the lungs causes serious bouts of what is called bacterial pneumonia, a condition that often requires hospitalization and high-dose antibiotics. Bacterial pneumonia can be fatal. A staph infection in the heart is called endocarditis and is life-threatening as it often produces irreversible damage to the valves of the heart that can only be treated with surgery. Bacteria in the blood can lead to a systemic blood infection referred to as sepsis - a very dangerous condition that causes a high fever and can lead to organ failure and disease in numerous bodily systems. Staph bacteria that enter the urinary system can cause urinary tract and kidney infections, the symptoms of which are fever and pain urinating, and lower back pain.

Until the advent of modern antibiotic therapy, medical professionals had few options when treating staph infections. They were limited to supporting the body's immune system in its fight against the bacteria and encouraging healthy behaviors like drinking plenty of clean water and eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

In the past, many more people died from bacterial infections than do presently. The discovery and mass production of antibiotics was one of the great miracles of the modern era in medicine. Antibiotics worked well for a couple of decades, but soon microbes began to develop resistance. Bacteria evolved. There are now infections caused by strains of staph for which few if any, antibiotics work. Tens of thousands of people in the developed world die from such infections each year and drug companies are not coming out with new antibiotics to combat this new epidemic fast enough. So what can you do to protect yourself?

The key to reducing your risk of infection from antibiotic-resistant bugs is to focus on simple and timeless self-care principles. Frequent washing of the hands, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of exercise are great methods of preventing infections. Another often overlooked way of reducing your odds of infection is to boost your immune system by drinking plenty of water. Clean water prevents a host of medical problems and keeps your body flushed with toxins. Contaminated water, on the other hand, can actually make people sick. For optimal health, people should always drink clean, purified water that is free of chemicals, bacteria, and viruses.

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