SuperStrain Blog-Source

Biological and chemical danger awaits, bioweapons and government black ops falseflag operations are an added threat to the broad spectrum of bioterrorism and biodefense. The germs are all around us, what we need is biosecurity!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Superstrain Brought Back By Iraq War Soldiers

From The Independent:

"Injured soldiers returning from Iraq have brought back a superbug that has been linked with outbreaks in NHS hospitals where they have been treated, a health minister has confirmed. The links between casualties brought back from Iraq and outbreaks in the NHS have caused alarm within the health service and led to renewed demands for more dedicated wards for Britain's armed forces to enable wounded soldiers to be isolated more effectively.

The Health Protection Agency has urged NHS hospitals to step up their infection control measures as a result of the outbreaks of a strain of the superbug Acinetobacter baumannii which is resistant to many types of antibiotics.

"A multi-resistant strain of A. baumannii known as the 'T strain' has been isolated from casualties returning to the UK from Iraq," the Health minister Andy Burnham said in a Commons written answer.

He said the exact source of the infection had not been identified but US casualties returning to America had also been found to be carrying the superbug.

Experts in microbiology who were studying the links between the infection and those wounded in Iraq, said an injured soldier thought to have caught the infection in Iraq may have caused a large outbreak of the superbug in an intensive care unit in an NHS hospital in south-east England.

They reported that the superbug was also found in two hospitals in the Midlands in soldiers who had been injured while serving in Iraq. The HPA said last night it was thought the T-strain survived in soil and sand in warm climates such as Iraq.

At one hospital in Birmingham the bacteria is reported to have infected 93 people, 91 of them civilians. Thirty-five died, although the hospital was not able to establish whether the superbug was a contributory factor.

A. baumannii is resistant to most common antibiotics and, if left untreated, can lead to pneumonia, fever and septicemia. It has been identified in more than 240 military personnel in the US since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has been associated with five deaths."


Wow! I haven't heard a peep about this in the US media. I haven't even heard of this bacteria. Could this possibly be Saddam's biological dead man's switch?

And what the hell is with the Brits' use of the term "superbug"? It's kind of "super obnoxious". I like how this thing already has a sinister sounding shorthand... the "t-strain."

I'll keep you all posted, of course, on this new nasty bastard.


Marcie Hascall Clark said...

Several strains of the MDR AB have come back from Iraq with our soldiers and civilians wounded in Iraq. Some have come from Afghanistan but it is likely that they picked it up in our military medical system.
This has been spread nosocomially from our field hospitals in Iraq, to Lanstuhl, to Walter, Bethesda, Brooks, Balboa, all of our VA hospitals and on to our community hospitals in many states. It can live on curtains, lab coats, ties, cell phones, surfaces, for days.
This has been handled poorly from the beginning. Protocal was not followed, patients were not isolated, and wound cultures were not taken for days (six in my husbands case).
Drugs were used to treat it that it was not sensitive to.
This could have been contained.
As usual the DOD's knee jerk reaction to making mistakes is to cover them up rather than deal with them. They have worked hard at keeping this under the wire and controlled the release of information under the guise of national security.
These strains are now almost completely drug resistant.
Overcrowded and understaffed facilities are prime grounds for the nosocomial spread of contagious pathogens. Our military medical system has been like this since the day we invaded Iraq. The spread of these bacteria is the direct result of going into the war unprepared to deal with the consequences.
No longer are only our soldiers and civilian contractors, their families, the Iraqi's and their families living (or dying) with the consequences of this war.
Innocent Americans will die due to this bug at a much larger numbers than our 911 attack.
Marcie Hascall Clark

JKS said...

Thank you so much for posting this Marcie. Do you know how this Middle Eastern strain came to be so drug resistant? Do you think it was weaponized, or just a case of poor antibiotic regimen control?

The last thing we need is one more hospital-spread super killer. Flesh-eating strep, MRSA, E. Coli, and now MDR-AB.

Marcie Hascall Clark said...

My first and most often asked question was "How did a bacteria become so drug resistant in a country under embargoes for so long and supposedly without proper medical help".
The acinetobacters are easily mutated by environmental factors. These strains from Iraq carry resistance genes to heavy metals. That certainly makes DU a suspect.
I was told by a mad microbiologist that under the embargoes Iraq was sent older, cheaper antibiotics which many bugs were already resistant to. This would have made it easier for AB to become drug resistant.
The pitiful hospitals in Iraq are just eaten alive with this bug and they have less than we do to deal with it.
After three years of digging and asking I feel like both of these have something to do with it.
Negligence on the part of our President and all of his men are why it has spread. The doctors and staff have done the best they could under the circumstances.

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